Frisky Business: New York's Minorities More Likely to Get Searched By Police

Minorities are more likely to get stopped and frisked than whites but not more likely to get arrested.

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If you're brown in New York, you're nine times as likely to be frisked as a white person. But, look on the bright side, you're not any more likely to be arrested!

The more than 575,000 stops of people in the city, a record number of what are known in police parlance as “stop and frisks,” yielded 762 guns.

Of the reasons listed by the police for conducting the stops, one of those least commonly cited was the claim that the person fit the description of a suspect. The most common reason listed by the police was a category known as “furtive movements.”

Under Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, the New York Police Department’s use of such street stops has more than quintupled, fueling not only an intense debate about the effectiveness and propriety of the tactic, but also litigation intended to force the department to reveal more information about the encounters.

The Center for Constitutional Rights, which got the data on stop and frisks after it first sued the city over the issue after the 1999 killing of Amadou Diallo, said its analysis of the 2009 data showed again what it argued was the racially driven use of the tactic against minorities and its relatively modest achievements in fighting crime.