The NYPD's "stop and frisk" program has garnered criticism in the past, in part because it is essentially one big "Racism License: Hunt Anyone That Your Personal Prejudices Cause You to Deem as 'Suspicious' At Will" license for NYPD officers, who are not, as a group, known for their unerring sense of racial fairness. In other news, the numbers show the stop and frisk program is being used racist-ly.
The NYCLU just analyzed all of the NYPD's stop and frisk data for 2011. Stop and frisks have increased 600%(!) since Bloomberg became mayor. New York City's black and Latino communities can be grateful to have a police department so very, very concerned with their welfare:
In 70 out of 76 precincts, blacks and Latinos accounted for more than 50 percent of stops, and in 33 precincts they accounted for more than 90 percent of stops. In the 10 precincts with black and Latino populations of 14 percent or less (such as the 6th Precinct in Greenwich Village), black and Latino New Yorkers accounted for more than 70 percent of stops in six of those precincts.
Young black and Latino men were the targets of a hugely disproportionate number of stops. Though they account for only 4.7 percent of the city's population, black and Latino males between the ages of 14 and 24 accounted for 41.6 percent of stops in 2011. The number of stops of young black men exceeded the entire city population of young black men (168,126 as compared to 158,406). Ninety percent of young black and Latino men stopped were innocent.
That means that statistically speaking, every single young black man in New York City was probably stopped and frisked last year. And don't forget this: "Black and Latino New Yorkers were more likely to be frisked than whites and were less likely to be found with a weapon."
When Ray Kelly is mayor, this will all work itself out, certainly.