Stop & Frisk Accomplishments: Barely Any Illegal Weapons Recovered, But Tons Of Weed Smokers Jailed

from the high-crimes dept

We've already discussed the abomination NYC Mayor Bloomberg has unleashed on his own people in the form of random searches of scary dark-skinned people, more commonly known as stop and frisk. The justification of a blatantly racist policy that nonetheless undermines the civil liberties of an entire city's population has taken a couple of turns. They started by assuring us they had a checklist, because that apparently means something to someone, somewhere. Then His Honor weighed in on the matter himself, saying:

"Look at what's happened in Boston," Mr. Bloomberg said. "Remember what happened here on 9/11. Remember all of those who've been killed by gun violence and the families they left behind."
Got it? We need to let police rummage around in people's pockets because of terrorism and gun violence. Ah, the old simultaneously playing on fear and concern for victims trick. Nicely played, Mr. Mayor. Or, it would have been nicely played if the statistics bore out even a portion of what he said. Unfortunately, thanks to the folks as the NYCLU, the true impact of the stop and frisk program has been revealed in all of its glory, and it essentially amounts to a blip in the gun seizure statistics and a whole lot of people being arrested for marijuana.
Last year, the NYPD stopped and interrogated people 532,911 times, a 448-percent increase in street stops since 2002 – when police recorded 97,296 stops during Mayor Bloomberg's first year in office. Nine out of 10 of people stopped were innocent, meaning they were neither arrested nor ticketed. About 87 percent were black or Latino. White people accounted for only about 10 percent of stops.
The NYCLU analyzed the NYPD's full 2012 computerized stop-and-frisk database, which contains detailed information not included in the quarterly stop-and-frisk reports the Police Department provides the City Council. The analysis examines multiple aspects of the 2012 stop-and-frisk data, including stops, frisks, use of force, reason for stop and recovery of weapons. The analysis provides detailed information at a precinct level and a close examination of race-related aspects of stop-and-frisk.
And the survey says? Well, it says that the program has been an absolute failure, unless its intention was always about filling up prisons for non-violent crimes. The analysis shows a complete lack of uniformity in how the program is utilized across precincts, that it is overwhelmingly used to stop minorities (who were found to be innocent at the same 90% rate as everyone else), that the total number of weapons recovered in 2012 increased by a total of 96 guns compared with 2003 when there was no stop and frisk program (a 0.02% increase), and that 26,000 people were stopped for offenses related to marijuana. Arrests due to marijuana possession were the most common reason for arrest resulting from stop and frisk.

What does this mean? Well, it means Mayor Bloomberg is either a liar or he simply doesn't know what he's talking about. To say that stop and frisk is all about combating terrorism and illegal guns, despite the program's lack of success doing either, shows a frightening level of incompetence and/or malice. All of this on top of the fact that violent crime is on a decline in New York City. Keep in mind that all of this comes at the cost of distrust of police by citizens, distrust of government by citizens, and the disenfranchisement of the minority population. Oh, and unless you've been sleeping the past year, you probably know that the laws surrounding marijuana in this country are becoming more lax by the minute.

With nearly nothing to show for it, how does His Honor continue to defend such a deplorable policy?



Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Nicholas Weaver (profile), May 30th, 2013 @ 7:22am

    Worse, the pot busts are largely SYNTHETIC!

    It is a crime to DISPLAY any quantity of Marijuana, but it is NOT a misdemeanor in NYC to possess very small quantities, just a infraction.

    But once they frisk the victim, and remove the pot from the pocket (EVEN THOUGH its clearly too small to be a weapon) it becomes a misdemeanor because now the victim is displaying the pot!

    So for most of the 26,000 arrested for pot, their only arrestable crime was a direct result of BEING FRISKED!

    More details at the New York Times.

     

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  2.  
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    Roman, May 30th, 2013 @ 7:25am

    As it's known

    I'm sure the mayor could drum up some good PR if he used the term "freedom frisks".

     

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  3.  
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    The Real Michael, May 30th, 2013 @ 7:31am

    "With nearly nothing to show for it, how does His Honor continue to defend such a deplorable policy?"

    Slowly but surely our country is being transformed into a huge prison. Think about it: TSA patdowns and full-body scanners, 'stop and frisk,' no-fly lists, the militarization of the police, drones, warrantless spying, cameras everywhere. All that's needed now are iron bars.

     

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  4.  
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    Lord Binky, May 30th, 2013 @ 7:34am

    Wait, they aren't claiming that the drugs support the terrorists so these are terrorist supporters? Huh... I think they're losing their edge.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2013 @ 7:37am

    Re:

    "All that's needed now are iron bars."

    Two words:

    Iron.
    Curtain.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2013 @ 7:38am

    This article is about NEW YORK CITY.

    The city with the raciest, dumbest, most hate fill bigoted elite whose sole occupation is scamming honest people of their hard earned wealth.

    So, who cares?

    Let them kill, jail, beat, and steal and have the modt corrupt government ever just so long as the do it to each other with such sufficient passion that exterminate all living people in that hell hole of hate.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2013 @ 7:41am

    The math...

    "a total of 96 guns compared with 2003 when there was no stop and frisk program (a 0.02% increase)"

    Um... you've got some weird math going on there. If 96 guns represents a 0.02% increase, that would mean they were finding about 480,000 guns per year before and 480,096 now. That's obviously wrong.

    The extra 96 guns actually represent a 15% increase in guns found. Although guns are still only found in a fraction of a percent of all stops (0.14%) - and the percentage of stops that result in a gun found has been going DOWN because the number of stops has increased WAY more than 15%.

    Perhaps what you meant to say was, the ADDITIONAL stops have resulted in guns about 0.02% of the time. The stops have increased by 372,060 and the guns found have increased by only 96. If that's what you meant, you really should have been clearer. I'll agree that a 1 in 3875 chance that a stop will find a gun is nowhere near enough to justify the program.

     

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  8.  
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    Noddy, May 30th, 2013 @ 7:42am

    Prisons, hmmm....

    Has anyone looked to see how much Mr Bloomberg receives in contributions from the prison industry... me wonders.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2013 @ 7:42am

    Re: Re:

    Huh?

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2013 @ 7:44am

    Re:

    LOL you said "honest people", "hard earned" and "wealth" all in the same sentence!

     

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  11.  
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    TheLastCzarnian (profile), May 30th, 2013 @ 7:45am

    Re:

    You make it sound like we have more people per capita behind bars than any other country!

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2013 @ 7:57am

    Perhaps the Private Prison industry is the real reason for this

    Private Prisons often make states sign contracts that guarantee the prison will be over 90% full to it's maximum capacity, even as high as 95% full, with big financial penalties if they aren't.

    This gives states a direct incentive to throw MORE people in jail, no matter how minor the crime, because they'd get a big fine if they don't throw more people in jail.

    Private prisons also have been shown to cost the state MORE money then publicly own and operated prisons. So why exactly do we have private prisons in the first place?

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2013 @ 7:58am

    Re: The math...

    I believe that calculation is based on the number of stop and frisks. Not the number of guns found. So out of the 532911 people frisked, only 96 guns were found. So that number is actually smaller percentage but was rounded up.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous, May 30th, 2013 @ 7:59am

    Failure:Success ratio if it's actually about guns.

    If we assume that EVERY additional gun seized by police in 2012 was due to Stop-and-Frisk and ignore any other factor (population changes, etc).

    Then it seems to me that Stop-and-Frisk more than a 5,500:1 failure to success ratio.

    Just think about what happens to that ratio when you remove the hilariously optimistic assumption required just to get 5,500:1

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2013 @ 8:07am

    Re: Perhaps the Private Prison industry is the real reason for this

    We have private prisons because there is no more democracy in America. No decisions are made by the people, and all the candidates on the ballot are striving for the same thing, money and power.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2013 @ 8:17am

    Re: Re: The math...

    "So out of the 532911 people frisked, only 96 guns were found. "

    That's incorrect. 96 is the increase in guns found, not the total number. The number of guns found is 729, up from 633. Which is like 0.14% of stops (as I stated before.)

     

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  17.  
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    Seegras (profile), May 30th, 2013 @ 8:20am

    A song?

    "Stop and Frisk" sounds like it should be made into a song..

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2013 @ 8:35am

    perhaps the thing to consider is the number of people that were beaten by 'over zealous' police officers but didn't feel it because the weed dulled their senses. they woke up wondering how the hell they got that black eye! that must have saved NYCPD a fortune in law suits!!

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2013 @ 8:42am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Someone haven't played enough Command and Conquer: Red Alert!

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2013 @ 8:48am

    Re: Re:

    Hoho. That is a nice backhanded insult disguised with sarcasm (not to The Real Michael, mind you). Those are rare breeds on the internet.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2013 @ 8:49am

    Re: As it's known

    +1 Sad But True

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2013 @ 9:07am

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/05/29/the-most-embarrassing-graph-in-american-d rug-policy/?wprss=rss_ezra-klein

    An enormous law enforcement effort seeks to raise prices at every point in the supply chain from farmers to end-users: Eradicating coca crops in source countries, hindering access to chemicals required for drug production, interdicting smuggling routes internationally and within our borders, street-level police actions against local dealers.

    Thatís why this may be the most embarrassing graph in the history of drug control policy. (Iím grateful to Peter Reuter, Jonathan Caulkins, and Sarah Chandler for their willingness to share this figure from their work.) Law enforcement strategies have utterly failed to even maintain street prices of the key illicit substances. Street drug prices in the below figure fell by roughly a factor of five between 1980 and 2008. Meanwhile the number of drug offenders locked up in our jails and prisons went from fewer than 42,000 in 1980 to a peak of 562,000 in 2007.

     

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  23.  
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    Christopher (profile), May 30th, 2013 @ 9:33am

    Selective evidence

    Maybe NYPD hasn't recovered a lot of guns, maybe the weed busts are incident, but the crime rate is way down over the same period. It's nice to think, in theory, all people are equal, but the reality is that they are stopping and frisking people that look like shitbirds. Don't wanna get stopped? Don't dress like a shitbird. The culture that owns that look needs to die. The end.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    PRMan, May 30th, 2013 @ 9:40am

    Re: Re:

    I think he was talking about the people being frisked.

     

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  25.  
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    PRMan, May 30th, 2013 @ 9:41am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I'm trying to figure out how if a police officer was the one that pulled it out of his pocket that he could be charged with displaying it.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2013 @ 9:41am

    Re: Re: Re: The math...

    I would like to see what data NYCLU was working with to come up with that number. I think the math is right but there is either data or a decimal that is missing or isn't in the right spot.

     

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  27.  
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    rapnel, May 30th, 2013 @ 10:16am

    Re: Selective evidence

    Stopping and frisking people that dress like shitbirds.

    That's fantastic. The bus for Moronville is departing and I believe that there may be a spot reserved for you.

    So, now, in your American New York City, I have to dress "right" with my bag of weed in my pocket to walk down the street without suffering from anxiety?

    I'm not quite certain you've nailed the culture that needs to die. I'm quite sure that you didn't, actually.

    I think east germany has called and they want their FŁhrer back. Something or other about long haired hippies on the street.

     

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  28.  
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    Dennis S. (profile), May 30th, 2013 @ 10:19am

    Re: Worse, the pot busts are largely SYNTHETIC!

    That's absolutely ridiculous.

     

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  29.  
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    Vincent Clement (profile), May 30th, 2013 @ 10:21am

    Re:

    Don't forget inland CBP checkpoints in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California and outbound border control (inspections when LEAVING the US). Papers please.

     

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  30.  
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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), May 30th, 2013 @ 10:31am

    I'm not quite certain you've nailed the culture that needs to die. I'm quite sure that you didn't, actually.
    Yeah, for a country touting itself as "The Land of The Free" it's amazing how many people there take it to mean "As long as I'm free and people that look and think exactly like me, then everyone else can go f*ck themselves" isn't it?

     

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  31.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), May 30th, 2013 @ 10:49am

    Re: Selective evidence

    the crime rate is way down over the same period


    Yes, but it's way down nationwide, not just in NYC. That implies that the reduction has nothing to do with stop & frisk.

    Don't wanna get stopped? Don't dress like a shitbird. The culture that owns that look needs to die. The end.


    So you advocate arresting people for the way they look? You seriously want a literal Fashion Police?

    You terrify me far more than any criminal I've ever seen.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2013 @ 11:11am

    So he's saying if they were doing the molest n go before 9/11 they would have prevented it just like airport security did?
    As for the weed smokers I bet the people of Colorado and Washington are shaking their heads.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2013 @ 12:26pm

    Father Bloomberg knows best

    What to eat and drink....
    Where and when to walk....

     

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  34.  
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    Jesse (profile), May 30th, 2013 @ 3:06pm

    Re: Worse, the pot busts are largely SYNTHETIC!

    The ironic thing is that marginalizing groups and spreading distrust of authority are probably key factors in laying the breeding ground for extremism and eventually terrorism.

     

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  35.  
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    John85851 (profile), May 30th, 2013 @ 3:34pm

    How does frisking stop terrorists in airplanes?

    If the mayor wants to relate the stop-and-frisk program to terrorism, could he please explain how stop-and-frisk could have stopped the terrorists on 9/11... who boarded planes in Boston and flew into buildings? Yes, no one wants this to happen again, but is frisking random people really going to stop Al-Queda from hijacking airplanes and flying them into buildings?

     

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  36.  
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    Wally (profile), May 30th, 2013 @ 4:08pm

    Re: Worse, the pot busts are largely SYNTHETIC!

    I am fully against synthetic weed. Most of the high from Weed comes from the high amounts of THC crystals that microscopically form on the leaf of the plaint. Real weed, when treated responsibly like drinking alcoholic beverages (yes get as stoned as you like..there are physical consequences to prolonged, long term use though), can be very enjoyable.

    The main issues I have with synthetic weed is that it is based on ground up chemical plastics with GLASS BEADS attached which contain the THC. Those glass beads rip the tissue of your throat and lungs to deliver the THC into your system. The glass beads only strike the surface though. Weed is like an alcoholic beverage in many respects. This includes detriment in physical visual perception in relation to your motor skills. You get a slightly delayed response. Normally this is just fine...but the synthetic weed industry never warned people of the danger, and they advertised as being the same as smoking a tobacco cigaret. Now imagine having that same impaired motor skill and distance judgement that an alcoholic beverage brings....that is what the synthetics were supposed to bring. The same buzz.

    So Yeah I can see why the fake stuff is illegal...it does more harm to you physically than actual plant based weed would.

    Now...illegal substance...and guns on premiss....that constitutes the use of a SWAT squad under the jurisdiction of the DEA to apprehend these people that they do not know if they will fight back. It is to protect innocents in the are in case a fire fight breaks out.

     

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  37.  
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    nasch (profile), May 30th, 2013 @ 6:31pm

    Liar

    He's not so much a liar I think as a bullshitter. A bullshitter isn't particularly concerned with deceiving anyone, he just wants to accomplish something without any regard for the truth. From "On Bullshit".

     

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  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2013 @ 5:03am

    Re: The math...

    The phrasing in the techdirt article is wrong. The source phrasing though explains the math:

    In 2012 as compared to 2003, the earliest year that a gun recovery figure is available, the NYPD conducted 372,060 more stops but recovered only 96 more guns. That amounts to an additional recovery rate of 0.02 percent.


    So the 0.02% figure is the gun recovery rate on the additional stops i.e. 96/372,060. The techdirt phrasing makes it sound like the 96 additional guns recovered only increased total guns recovered by 0.02%

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2013 @ 5:05am

    Re: Re: The math...

    The number is looking at the increase in stops vs. the increase in guns found so it's an increase of 372,060 stops and an increase of 96 guns found for an additional recovery rate of 0.02%.

     

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  40.  
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    Sam, May 31st, 2013 @ 3:14pm

    With the same amount...

    He'll defend it with the same amount of logic and statistics he's used thus far: NONE!

     

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  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Jun 1st, 2013 @ 5:25am

    Re: Re: Worse, the pot busts are largely SYNTHETIC!

    I think the Rollerboys had a good idea with that Day Of The Rope thing. Granted, sterilization wouldn't accomplish much, but they were on the right track.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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