Surprise: Police Abusing the Stop-and-Frisk Program

Shocker: a new study finds that the NYPD's "stop and frisk" program is racially biased and prone to abuse. No! Never! Smear this study, immediately!

One might argue that the entire concept of "stop and frisk," which allows police officers to stop people on the street and frisk them based on nothing more than that officer's vague suspicions, is rather un-American. One would then be scoffed at, by the NYPD. But now, one may reasonably assert as fact that the program has serious problems.

You may recall that in 2009, more than half of those stopped and frisked by NYPD officers were black, while only 10% were white. That is not even the scandal here! Because those figures "correlated to the racial breakdown of crime suspects," according to Ray Kelly, who suspects black people of doing most things. The new study of all stop and frisks from 2004 to 2009 from the Center for Constitutional Rights finds even more to worry about. Says the NYT:

Professor Fagan found that in more than 30 percent of stops, officers either lacked the kind of suspicion necessary to make a stop constitutional or did not include sufficient detail on police forms to determine if the stops were legally justified. The study also found that even accounting for crime patterns in the city's various neighborhoods, officers stopped minorities at disproportionate rates.

And keep in mind that these are only problems that can be identified from the police forms themselves—because in this study, a cop writing that a suspect "fits the description" or that he appears to be "casing" a store is considered proper justification. So we can only imagine the real proportion of stops that are bullshit. We bet Feris Jones doesn't like this one bit, either.

[NYT. Photo: See-ming Lee]