Thursday, December 25, 2014

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The Call Blog: State Attorney General Analyzes Conviction Rate After Street Stops

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What's alarming to me is the number of times police are wrong when determining who is acting suspiciously. I understand it's not an exact science. But in most businesses, you won't stay employed for too long if you fail 90% of the time.

Three percent of people stopped by police for suspicious behavior are eventually convicted at trial or plead guilty. That's just one of the findings of a report released today by State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office. The study analyzed close to 150,000 arrests that resulted from approximately 2.4 million stops between 2009 and 2012.

The report also found 0.3 percent of stops led to jail sentences of more than 30 days, and 0.1 percent led to convictions for a violent crime. In addition, the report concluded 0.1 percent of stops led to a conviction for possession of a weapon.

The study used data from the New York Police Department and the Office of Court Administration. A police spokesman said the report was flawed because it ignored situations where the officer's action prevents a crime from taking place. What do you say?

Are you surprised by the findings from this report? Does it shed any light on the effectiveness of the NYPD's current use of Stop, Question, and Frisk? What recommendations do you have to improve the use of street stops to keep New Yorkers safe while respecting the rights of the innocent?

Send your thoughts using the link above.

The Schneiderman report basically says that stop and frisk does not work, and targeting those efforts on "high crime" neighbors will yield little results because the majority of people in minority neighborhood are law abiding, just like in any other neighborhood in the city.

Bay Ridge

What are they getting at? Conviction rates mean little. If stop and frisk saves even one life then it is working. People in vanilla neighborhoods should quit making decisions that are detrimental to the public as a whole. P.S. Someone from Albany should clean up that junkyard first.


I can understand the perception that stop question and frisk appears at least to an extent be racial profiling. Clearly it is not being implemented as it should and needs to be reworked. I do think it is an extremely useful tool, but there are cops who abuse this. People deserve to be treated with respect. But with that being said, what I have never heard anyone say on any news program or discussion, is the factor that demographics plays in all of this. More times than not the shootings occur at public housing projects or high crime areas where there are many good and decent people unfortunately living among thugs and drug dealers, etc. These decent people are frequently the victims and are the ones who are calling the police. All I am saying is that demographics should be factored in to the equation. I am for stop, question & frisk provided it is carried out with courtesy and respect.

Bay Ridge

Hi John,

One thing this study points out is that judges hand down light sentences when perpetrators are convicted. What is the conviction rate on summary arrests? This is because the DA is unable to unwilling to prosecute these crimes. Maybe this has something to do with the rap sheets of convicted felons walking the streets preying on law abiding civilians.

As for 2.4 million stops over 3 years, this number seems impossibly high. Makes it sound like this is all police officers are doing during their 8.35 hour tours. I have never worked with Police Officers who violated civilians rights.

Deblasio is being bullied into who he should pick for Police Commissioner...Hispanic groups have threatened to picket l P.P. as well as city hall. Woman"s groups are pushing female for P.C. Blacks want an African American for P.C.

Bottom line, I fear policing is going to revert to answering 911 calls as opposed to proactive policing.

God Bless the NYPD and God help the City of New York.

midtown east
retired NYPD

Gentrify and get a better class of people in the neighborhood. No all seriousness aside the police know how to read people if someone has a certain body language or demeanor they're carrying a weapon or they're about to commit a crime. I happen to like stop and frisk as a deterrent to terrorism and Im liberal and formerly an ACLU member. The only problem is when police overreach or stop based on race or other disparate enforcement. The solution is to use technology in detecting guns but the civil libertarians would have a cow and its very expensive. The greater good theory should apply.


Hi John

I'm not surprised by the findings of the report, Stop Question and frisk is effective if the cops stop people they think is suspicious of committing a crime ask a few questions if they didn't do anything let them go if the cops still feel they did something frisk and arrest them. Diblasio do have to make changes to the law so everyone will be protected and people civil rights wont be violated.

upper west side

Hi John,

Well to me John we are dealing with yet another set of poll numbers. I feel that Schneiderman, Kelly and Bloomberg are 100% for stop and frisk and therefor the stats for some reason or another always come out in their favor. I believe that stop and frisk should continue and most certainly be modified then maybe we can come to some sort of equal ground for everyone.

Thank you John,


You can't trust any government statistics, but even if you could, stop and frisk is a warrantless search and therefore a violation of the 4th Amendment.

Port Richmond, SI



This might work well if the cops were to be properly trained and the psychopathic bullies in the ranks were to be weeded out. Some cops use it as a weapon to humiliate minorities and make themselves feel powerful. If it were used correctly, it could be a good crime-fighting tool. By the way, a lot of white guys carry guns, but they slip under the radar because of their skin color.

East Village

I get the sense of the two issues concerning the police department, one, is the decision of choosing the next police commissioner, and the other, is DeBlasio's involvement with keeping the city safe. The stop and frisk program is meritless, and discriminating of all people of color, who fit a marginalized stereotype. This is not progress by any means whatsoever, it is a Bloomberg travesty, which is shamelessly being upheld by New Yorkers of privilege, hence the tale of two cities.

Michael in Woodside

It's been said that a "conservative is a once liberal who got robbed!" That said, it is unrealistic to think that officers wake up in excitement and ask themselves "Let's see..who can I unjustly harass today?" I can guarantee that instead they would rather not have to interact much less touch half of the individuals they are compelled to deal with on a daily basis. Furthermore, it is unrealistic to find guns without putting your hands on people as criminals do their best to conceal them! Police save lives.


If Mayor-elect deBlasio drops the city's appeal of Stop & Frisk, the he should be required to attend the funeral of every victim and explain that this is the price you pay to live in our great city.


When you are conducting searches your goal is to detect and recover contraband as well deter. Searches equal detect & deter.


I am not surprised by Attorney General Eric Schneidermans findings, he's quite thorough and diligent. What needs to be addressed now are the findings. I think all these police officers could benefit from some "sensitivity training". Then they need to do some more "beat work" to get familiar with the residents in the neighborhood. They are out of touch and way too bias.

Upper West Side

In the same way that I am put off by the govt. possibly screening my emails and phone calls, at the end if the day, I throw my hands up in the air -I say - I have nothing to hide, and if this helps find even one terrorist plotting against us, I will deal with feeling a bit mistrusted! In the same way, I believe that violent communities should embrace this effort because the police are trying to make an environment for them where most people will think twice before the walk out the door with a gun.

That boy who shot two people at Bryant Park this weekend, what if he had been stopped & frisked?

Yes, some perfectly upstanding people are going to be searched & that is frustrating, but of it were really embraced by the troubled communities, the law abiding people should thank officers for helping them develop a more peaceful society , instead supporting a modern day wild -west!

Erin, Rego Park

In the twelve years of the Bloomberg administration well over 5000 people have been murdered. Cell phone robberies/ muggings are way up. I know three people in my building alone who have had their iphones stolen on the street and subway. The city has gotten safer but it is by no means a safe city.

Chris from Brooklyn

There are so many dynamics that play in stop and frisk but one of the larger issues is there are some police officers who dont have any cultural identity with the people in which the precincts they patrol. Based on the statistics it seems as though the policy is borderline racial profiling.


Kudos to Jumaane Williams and Debi Rose who will be holding a city council forum next Wednesday on "Shop and Frisk," which is very related to "Stop and Frisk," in that is related to racial profiling, but inside shopping centers.


What amazes me is how many smart people, from the mayor to the police commissioner and thousands (maybe millions) of others were so convinced this was a good idea when all the evidence points to how useless and damaging stop and frisk has been. It's amazing what fear can do to otherwise rational minds.


Although, there should be a zero tolerance for any agency exercising discriminating practices in their fields of their expertise, at the same token New York can not afford in over emphasizing what is, and what is not, politically correct when it comes to New York City's Police responsibilities, and duties. For if New York demands that NYPD follow condense procedures, and micromanaged every move they make, we will no longer have the much needed proactive law enforcement agency protecting our streets, but instead a heavily lessresponsive one, that will be afraid to perform because they are heavily restrained by procedure, & new rules.

New York City already has this type of practice being heavily exercised in the Department of Correction, and as anyone can see (under Commissioner Dora Schriro) it has only taken full authority away from its officers, which has resulted in higher assaults on staff, and inmates, and a battery of violent melees that could not be defused.


Stop andFrisk was Bloomberg's way of selling New York City. How can we trust our officials. It's scary.


I have personally witnessed police officers stop black people who have nice cars just because they are angry that with the job that they have they cannot afford such a car. There are plenty of cops who show disdain for the people in the neighborhoods where they work. I have also been arrested for protecting myself when I was attacked in my own home, just so the cops could work overtime. All charges were dropped, once the prosecutor took a look at the situation, but not before I incurred $1,500 in legal fees. Too many of the police officers in the city are settling for these low paying jobs and really should be doing something else. Law abiding citizens can't even defend themselves in NYC. I used to own a gun but not since I move to NYC. The cards are stacked against people who obey the law.

Clinton Hill/Fort Greene

This new report about Stop & Frisk from Eric Schneiderman basically confirms that stop & frisk does not work the way that some people believe that it does or want to believe that it does. There has been more hype about stop & frisk than any other topic when clearly there are stats that are showing only 3% of all of the thousands and thousands of stops that the NYPD conducts actually result in a conviction. If there is racial profiling involved with stop & frisk -- this end does not justify the means. This policy is pivotal to Mayor Bloomberg's legacy. While people may be enlightened by his health initiatives -- his legacy should also be examined regarding other critical issues like how he has systematically dismantled the NYC public school system, the elimination of the middle class during his tenure in office and of being a long-standing ally to the wealthy. He can also take credit for creating a culture in the DOE as one of the most hostile environments to work in. He cost a lot of good people jobs!!

Upper east side

Hi John,

I think that it takes intellectual brute force to arrive at the opinion that stop and Frisk has worked. The level of success equates to burning down the house to kill the mouse.

I also believe that there needs to be a complete turn around in the culture of the NYPD. They currently behave as if they own the city and we move around at their discretion.




The only people for stop and frisk.are people who haven't been stop and cops with attitudes.

Joe M.

Crime and murders are down despite decrease in police force. I would freeze the force and salaries until officers retrained in constitutional law re stop and frisk. I hold p PBA president Lynch responsible for his sile3nce.


This is in reference to frank who called in from lower east side. If crime is in the black and hispanic communities then white middle kids should be stop since they're known to commit mass school shootings.


Is Frank from the Lower East Side delusional? Acc. to him, all people of color have to do is teach their kids to "behave" and be "respectful" and all will be well with the world? No talk of the structural inequities that lead to some of the behavior that Frank is bemoaning. Why doesn't Frank thing that the civil liberties of all New Yorkers, including in so-called "minority" neighborhood should be respected?


If this program saves just one innocent person from being shot, how can you be against it?

Further, I am sure the people that have a lot of guns in their neighborhood are FOR this program even know these represent the minority of New Yorkers.

A poll that is confined to the inhabitants of those neighborhoods would be more revealing than a poll of everybody who views your program.

Thank you,

Police stop, question, and possibly frisk people because they have "reasonable" suspicion that something is afoul - this has been affirmed by the US Supreme Court. To tell cops not to stop, question, and possibly frisk people who looked suspicious, is telling police not to do one of their responsibilities. All these stops that led to the increase of the statistics is because a 911 call was generated and the cops are looking for someone. These are the right "stops" that don't get talked about. everyone is focused on the few "stops" that happened because you didnt look right. The AG's report is biased and misleading because there are so many factors leading to a non-conviction on the original charge.

Astoria, Queens

Stop question and frisk is just another word for Policing ~ The problem is the Police Dept started putting quota's on the number of stops it wanted its officers to do a tour and required the officers to put that on there activity reports ~ those stop and question and frisk forms were used as a compstat tool for the pct commanding officers to show that his officers where out there working ~ compstat spiraling out of control caused this issue , take away the quota's take away the problem ~

the new mayor should remove all quota's from law enforcement ~ including summons quota's then maybe the public will start liking the police ~

John ~ Staten Island

The people in the good neighborhoods want stop and frisk! Keep stopping and frisking everybody! The people in the bad neighborhoods don't want stop and frisk. So stop the stop and frisk! Youll get what you want in your neighborhoods, crud! Stop and frisk has taken over 100,000 guns, knives, etc from thugs!


Can't the NYPD stop and frisk more whites and Asians? Yes there is more crime in the black and Hispanic areas but stop and frisk works, perhaps it just needs to be more equitable. I am white and wouldn't mind seeing the cops frisk Park Slope and Flushing residents.

William, queens

The police stop and frisk is not only illegal, it is done in malicious way. they are very pompous and rude.


Instead of listing the stats of the stops that become un-prosecuted, talk about the deterrence of crimes in the first place.


Stop, question and frisk is a tool in place that is used to intimidate, harass and violate one's civil rights. It is not until it reaches the communities that are seemingly unaffected by this policy, that it will become a bigger issue.

Until then, those who have not been violated by by unfair practice, will of course feel that it is an effective tool in reducing crime.

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