An NYPD's Deputy Chief that was instrumental to the creation of the stop-and-frisk training program says it will take more sensitivity, explaining and training to calm the outrage over the department's stop-and-frisk program. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.
Deputy Chief James Shea had a very active role in developing the current training used by the NYPD to instruct officers on how to legally stop, question and frisk.
On Monday he wrapped up his testimony as the city's first defense witness in the federal case against stop-and-frisk. The plaintiffs say it's all about targeting blacks and Hispanics but Shea says that's not so and officers are trained not to do it.
"Racial profiling is illegal, it is against department policy," Shea said. "And to top everything off, as I said in the trial, it is bad policing."
In 2011, nearly 700,000 people were stopped and frisked, the large majority young black and Hispanic men.
It turned out very few were charged with any crime. Because of community pressure and this federal trial there have been changes to the paper work for stop-and-frisk.
"Every precinct commander and executive officer reviews every single UF-250 form that comes in," Shea said. "It used to be reviewed by the desk officer and then logged in. Now it is reviewed by a captain, an executive. That is a significant jump in supervision, that came in within the last year. "
The judge overseeing the federal trial has been paying close attention to those forms and questioned officers about what is written in police memo books for stop-and-frisk encounters.
"What we strive for is that the people at least understand why it occurred and that it wasn't an arbitrary stop when we are done with it," Shea said.
But attorneys for those suing say actions speak louder than words.
"It's what they do on the street that is the issue," attorney Jonathan Moore said. "It is not the written policy, it is the actual practice on the street."
"In that training are multiple scenarios where they shouldn't stop someone based on the information available to them," Shea said. "They are graded on their ability to judge that information."
Officers who fail the training have to retake the course.
Shea says so far about 6,000 of the 34,000 uniformed officers have taken the training.