New York crime down as stop-and-frisks reduced

stop and frisk

New York Police performing stop-and-frisks (Photo: Wall Street Journal)

Since New York City decreased the number of “stop-and-frisks” its officers performed over the past several years, crime has also gone down, leading some to believe the  preemptive and sometimes intrusive police practice was ineffective.

“The NYPD does not have to choose between respecting our individual rights and keeping us safe,” said New York Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Donna Lieberman.

Between 2011 and 2014 police stops fell 93 percent, as murders dropped 35 percent, shootings fell 36 percent during the same period, the NYCLU found. Other serious crimes remained level.  During that time, shootings dropped from 1,510 to 1,162 and are expected to drop 23 percent in 2015 from 2011. 

The civil liberties group points to the drop in shootings because gun crime was used by officials to justify the program.

At its peak, the program saw close to 700,000 stops in 2011.

“The end of the discriminatory stop-and-frisk regime of the last administration was a victory of facts and data about policing over fear-mongering and propaganda,” said NYCLU Associate Legal Director Christopher Dunn. “That New Yorkers are safer than ever after the fall in stop-and-frisk shows we can eliminate abusive police practices and actually improve public safety.”