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New York or the USSR?

August 17th, 2009

Found at Reason Magazine

More troubling scenes from Michael Bloomberg’s New York, care of the New York Civil Liberties Union:

Surprisingly disappointing posterThe NYPD stopped and interrogated more innocent people during the first six months of 2009 than during any six-month period since the Department began collecting data on its troubling stop-and-frisk program. Police made more than 273,000 stops of completely innocent New Yorkers – the overwhelming majority of whom were black and Latino. Though these innocent people did nothing wrong, their names and home addresses are now stored in an NYPD database. [...]

According to an NYPD report obtained and analyzed by the NYCLU this week, police stopped and interrogated New Yorkers 140,552 times between April and June. Nearly nine out of 10 of these stops resulted in no charges or citations. This record number of stops fell disproportionately on the city’s communities of color – 74,283 of those stopped were black and 44,296 were Latino, while only 13,906 were white.

The Department made another 171,094 stops between January and March. Overall, this record number of stops represents a 15 percent increase from the 270,937 stops conducted during the first six months of 2008. If stops continue at this pace, the NYPD will conduct a record 610,000 stops in 2009. In 2008, the current record, police stopped New Yorkers 531,159 times.

Over the past five-and-a-half years, New Yorkers have been subjected to the practice more than 2.5 million times – a rate of 1,260 every day. The Department is then recording the name and home address of every person stopped.

Link via Jack Shafer’s Twitter page. Jacob Sullum wrote a year ago about New York’s “little-noticed crackdown on pot smokers.”

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