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NYPD Challenges Sharpton’s ‘Stop and Frisk’ Racism Allegations February 9, 2007

Posted by C.A.R.D in African Americans, African-American, Black, Blacks, Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Discriminate, Discrimination, Hispanic, Latin Americans, Latino, National Action Network, New York City, New York City Racism, NYPD, NYPD Racism, Police, Police racial profiling, PUSH, Racism, Racism Allegations, Racist, Stop and Frisk, stop-and-search.
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Political activist Al Sharpton is contemplating a class-action lawsuit against the New York Police Department over alleged race-based stop and search practices, but the police say the data shows that stops were proportionate to the crimes they were investigating.

Comparisons in crime and stop-and-search statistics for two neighboring precincts, police say, call into question the accusations of racism.

Following the release of figures showing that more than half of the people stopped and frisked by police in the city in 2005 were black, Sharpton said the procedure disproportionately and unfairly targets blacks and Hispanic in New York City.

Records indicate that 55 percent of the more than 508,000 people stopped and searched that year were black, and nearly 30 percent were Hispanic.

The New York Civil Liberties Union also expressed outrage at the NYPD figures, saying blacks were five times more likely to be searched than whites.

“In 1998, stop-and-frisk data prompted the Attorney General to conclude that the NYPD was engaged in racial profiling under the Giuliani administration,” said the group’s executive director, Donna Lieberman.

“Now, once again, we’re seeing what appear to be massive racial disparities in the department’s stop-and-frisk practices. We need to analyze this data to determine whether the department is again engaging in racial profiling,” she added.

Sharpton, who unsuccessfully sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004, announced that his civil rights organization, the National Action Network, would begin collecting names of New Yorkers who believe they have been victims of NYPD racial profiling. He has yet to announce if and when he will file a lawsuit.

But data compiled by the NYPD and the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) shows a correlation between the number of felony crimes, locations, and the population breakdown in the relevant parts of the city.

The NYPD’s 75th Precinct, which encompasses East New York – a largely minority Brooklyn neighborhood – recorded 3,319 serious felonies in 2006, by far the largest number of felony crimes in any area of the city. It also recorded the highest number of police stops.

By contrast, the 86th Precinct, adjacent to the 75th Precinct, had 38 percent fewer felony crimes reported, and 77 percent fewer police stops.

Of the more than 508,000 stop-and-frisks conducted by police in 2005, approximately 21,000 of those resulted in arrests. Of the arrests, more than two-thirds of the suspects were black.

Police spokesman Paul Browne commented that over 68 percent of crime victims described their assailant as being black.

According to the latest statistics obtained from the CCRB, an independent agency, 3,877 complaints against the NYPD were lodged in the first six months of 2006, an increase of 12 percent from the same period the previous year.

Most complaints against police were lodged in Brooklyn’s East New York and Brownsville sections.

The “stop-and-frisk” procedure was examined in a 1999 report by the New York attorney general’s office, whose then-director, Andrew Cuomo, called the practice a part of an “overall crime-fighting philosophy.”

“Above all, ‘stop & frisk’ is a technique for fighting crime,” it said.

“Although, of necessity, it must operate within constitutional parameters, and although, in practice, it profoundly impacts community attitudes toward the police, the technique of lawfully detaining civilians for investigatory field interrogations and, where appropriate, conducting patdown frisks must be understood primarily as methods used by the police to prevent, investigate, detect, and solve crime.”

Police officers stopped 508,540 people on New York City streets last year, compared to just 97,296 in 2002.

Calls to the National Action Network for comment were not returned.

CARD {Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination} Source: cnsnews.com

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