‘Stop and Frisk’ update

Finally. Thanks to the perseverance of the New York Civil Liberties Union, the City of New York will clear the records of  thousands of innocent people who were stopped under the city’s controversial “stop and frisk” program.

Stop and frisk updateTo give some background, under Mayor Bloomberg the NY Police Department (NYPD) has conducted more stop-and-frisk encounters than the combined populations of Baltimore, Boston, Denver, Seattle, Detroit, San Francisco, Washington D.C. and Pittsburgh. It could be argued that if stopping and frisking citizens is a way to significantly reduce street crimes and nuisance activities then it’s worth the cost and effort, right? Certainly. But, unfortunately, approximately 88%, or 4.4 million, of the stops were of innocent people. The stops rank as harassment as they didn’t result in either a ticket or an arrest. What’s more alarming is that over 86% of the individuals who were stopped were either African-American or Hispanic.

The NYPD compiled a database that allowed their investigators to use the aggregated information to  take information gathered during stop and frisk to gather clues for criminal investigations. In 2010, a state law required that the NYPD must expunge from the database the names and addresses of people who were stopped but not charged with a crime. The NYPD has agreed to erase the database within 90 days, and “any remaining information that establishes the personal identity of an individual who has been stopped, questioned and/or frisked, including the name and address” must be deleted.

Executive Director of the New York Civil Liberties Union Donna Lieberman issued a press release in which she said, “New Yorkers who are the victims of unjustified police stops will no longer suffer the further injustice of having their personal information stored indefinitely in an NYPD database.”

{End of Quick News Bite!}