Open Phones: Stop and Frisk

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Yesterday the New York Civil Liberties Union released a report saying that the NYPD has conducted more than 4.3 million street stops under the Bloomberg Administration, about 88 percent of which resulted in no arrest or summons. If you have been stopped and frisked or if you are a police officer or former police officer, call us with your experiences on 212-433-WNYC or leave a comment below. 

Comments [32]

Unfortunately, Minority Males, in NYC, are overwhelming responsible for
the majority of the street crime.
Far too often, Minority Males, do commit robberies, assaults, muggings, etc.

Check out what group is responsible for the majority of the Robberies in
NYC, by checking out NYPD Crime Statistics.

I live in a housing project, and we have meetings with the Precinct Council,
the tenants demand more Police presence, not less.

Feb. 16 2012 01:42 PM
Rastafari from NYC

Stop + Frisk

In 1776 the founding fathers stated "God gives Rights to Man that
other Men cannot take away"- Declaration of Independence.

Black and Brown people are having a birth right (4th Amendment) taken
away from them every day with the Stop + Frisk Policy.
This policy is directly responsible for the sudden death of young
Ramarley Graham and the slow destruction of hundreds of thousands of
Black and Brown children. The Stop Stop and Frisk movement in NYC is
mobilizing to put an end to this policy.

Black and Brown people are not robbing and raping for recreation. The
claim that Stop+ Frisk reduces crime is false on its face and is
racist by implication.
Each and every day Black and brown people are harassed without good or
"probable" cause.

Mr. Graham will be laid to rest this week, and we hope he will rest in
peace. The rest of us will not. Not until this unconstitutional and
illegal policy has stopped.

Feb. 15 2012 01:00 PM

Please Watch "Every Mother's Son"

The "we need to be tough on crime" excuse for policies like stop and frisk are racist bullshit.

Feb. 15 2012 12:08 PM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Woody - that's not what the cop said.

It is a fact that you do NOT have to carry ID on you. If you have broken no laws and cop asks you for ID, you are not obligated to produce any.

However, if a Cop stops you for any misdemeanor and up - and you don't have ID, the cop can detain you.

Feb. 15 2012 11:24 AM

I'd like to know if there is any oversight of the requirement that names of stop and frisk victims, found to have done nothing, be deleted from the database maintained by the NYC Police Department if they are let go and found to have done nothing. This was signed into law in July 2010 be Governor Patterson.

If you are stopped and give ID your name is run through a database. Is it captured for some period of time? If so, when is it deleted? Or is the name not captured and saved in the database if there is "no hit."

Brian, I'd really like you to do a follow up on this topic.

Feb. 15 2012 11:22 AM
CM from Manhattan

The phone-in "discussion" was so skewed! The white lawyer searched at airports and courthouses? That happens to EVERYONE as per the law! Stop and frisk is completely different.

Brian, to personalize this issue you should speak to callers like me, who has a clear-cut stop and frisk incident. The police "documenting" the cases the policeman who phoned in spoke about? The policemen who stopped me did not report it, so my incident was not on record until I filed a complaint with the Civilian Complaint Review Board. The numbers are probably even higher, and this discussion needs more than the 15-20 minutes it was allotted. This is a real issue for people of color, one where it is far from an understatement to say our lives are in jeopardy when such confrontations occur. I shudder to think what could have happened to me, an educated black man, if I had decided to assert my rights and refused to be searched with no witnesses around.

Feb. 15 2012 11:19 AM
Woody from Brooklyn

Brian, I think it is important to correct some mis-information from the officer who called.

The officer stated it is illegal to not carry identification in NY. This is false.

It is completely legal to not carry identification. It is also completely legal to not produce identification during a routine stop & frisk.

This and other rights is available from the highly recommended NYCLU's "Know Your Rights" publication:

Please correct this info on air.

Feb. 15 2012 11:06 AM

does this include bag search at subway turnstiles?

Feb. 15 2012 11:05 AM
Lori from Hoboken

Everyone needs to Know Their Rights!
And stand up for yourself. Yes, the police are doing a job, but as a person in the United States you have the right to stand up for yourself. This keeps a balance of power between the individual and the "state".

"If police detain and frisk you, you have the right to clearly state your refusal to consent to the search. For example, you may say "Officer, I'm not resisting. I do not consent to this search." --

Taken from the ACLU website
"You do not have to consent to a search of yourself or your belongings, but police may "pat down" your clothing if they suspect a weapon. You should not physically resist, but you have the right to refuse consent for any further search. If you do consent, it can affect you later in court."

Feb. 15 2012 11:01 AM
Helen from manhattan

I really agree with your caller right now. I think that if officers did not stop people after a crime has been committed, they would be called negligent, and accused of not even trying to catch criminals. There has to be a little bit of give and take for police officers, they are doing their jobs to try to keep us safe.

Also, about some earlier callers, they were actually committing crimes at the time when they were stopped and then subsequently frisked. Since when do we complain when cops are responding to crimes? These people aren't innocent victims, they are committing crimes and then were stopped by a police officer.

Feb. 15 2012 10:59 AM

@Cop caller
now I'm on the other side...excatly you were part of the oppression...I was only following Americans we still have our 4th amendment rights...that trumps your paranoia

Feb. 15 2012 10:59 AM
john from office

Ok Ok I accept that cops are just out there looking for church going, scholars going to school, to stop frisk and KILLLLLL. They are soooo out of control. They are just hunting black folk for sport. I now accept this as fact.

Feb. 15 2012 10:55 AM
Robert from NYC

So all that proves is that it comes from the top, the very top wants these stops and that's the thug Kelly. He should be fired.

Feb. 15 2012 10:55 AM
Amy from Manhattan

I wonder if the police officer brother of the professor who called could tell him how the police are trained on this practice.

Feb. 15 2012 10:55 AM
Leo in NYC from NYC

Brian, the reason they stop people on pretext is because part of crime reduction strategy is to have people have as many interactions with police officers as possible in order to stumble on as many weapons, outstanding warrants, etc. as possible. It's the same rational as expanding the DNA database and the Iris scans. So yeah, ok maybe there was a robbery earlier in the day. But then that's a pretext to flood the streets with cops and shake down as many people as possible.

Feb. 15 2012 10:55 AM

@Bob from Flushing
give that man a cigar

Feb. 15 2012 10:54 AM
The Truth from Becky

That's entering a courthouse Mr. "I'm a white man" that's not walking down the street minding your own business!! Talk to us after you have THAT experience please.

Feb. 15 2012 10:53 AM
Bob from Flushing

Most of these people are guilty of LWB:
Living While Black.

Feb. 15 2012 10:53 AM
The Truth from Becky

Pay attention Brian, he said he looks younger than he actually is. Annoying when you don't pay attention.

Feb. 15 2012 10:52 AM
Amy from Manhattan

I'd like to hear the numbers on how many gun incidents are reported each year, multiplied by the 15 or so people the NYPD representative estimated are stopped for each report. It seems beyond belief that it could be anywhere near 684,000.

Feb. 15 2012 10:52 AM

The NYPD argument that this reduces crime is ridiculous.

If they invaded people's homes without warrants searching for guns and drugs it would probably lower the crime rate somewhat too.

That wouldn't make it any less unconstitutional or abusive.

Feb. 15 2012 10:51 AM
John from Brooklyn

Brian's stats are accurate, but wrong.

The "guns off the street" can't be measured by those discovered during stop-and-frisk.

The greater number is those deterred from carrying.

Feb. 15 2012 10:50 AM
John from office

Brain, open phones on this subject opens you up to allegations, not facts from the callers. You take the storys as truth.

A waste of time. Cops bad people stopped good.

Feb. 15 2012 10:50 AM
Mike from Brooklyn

The quote at the beginning of the segment said that most stop and frisks are a result of a situation like a store being robbed and the police stopping lots of people who fit the description in the area right afterwards. According to the WNYC blog:

"According to the police department’s own report analyzing the reasons for its stops in the fourth quarter of 2011, only 16.5 percent of individuals stopped were stopped because the individual fit “a relevant description.”"

This is simply not true. The NYPD is harassing people of color and illegally searching people and this practice has resulted in over 50,000 arrests for marijuana possession which has been decriminalized since 1977!

Feb. 15 2012 10:48 AM
The Truth from Becky

Stop and go through the dudes pockets for pushing a bicycle?!! You can't DO THAT!!

Feb. 15 2012 10:47 AM

The Police paint it as a necc tool to catch criminals 9or suspects)...but it isn't that. It's a violation of the 4th amendment...any group of young black men will get harrassed for no reason just cause they can...police state tactics pure and simple.

Feb. 15 2012 10:47 AM
JT from LI

Is it possible to verify that only people that matched a description are stopped?

Feb. 15 2012 10:47 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

They say there are lies and statistics:

Young black and Latino men are responsible for a disproportionally amount of gun crimes in the City - yes.

Young black and Latino men live disproportionately in areas that have high incidences of violent and gun crime - yes.

Most rational people will understand that black and Latino who reside in certain areas men will probably have a higher ratio of being stopped and frisked. Yes

HOWEVER - 684,000 people being stopped with a 6% arrest rate is a complete disgrace.

It is an assault on mostly innocent Americans. Cops are usually rude and intrusive, they use illegal tactics, including asking victims to "empty their pockets" without any probable cause - throwing kids up against the wall then sending them on their way without even an explanation. The ends don't justify the means.

Feb. 15 2012 10:47 AM
sarah from Gowanus, Brooklyn

I don't imagine that the Stop & Frisk program is cheap. What is the cost of this program relative to gun buy back programs? Is there a less labor intensive way to get guns off the streets that at the same time may restore some of the severely goodwill between the NYPD and the citizens of New York City?

Feb. 15 2012 10:46 AM
Brian from BKLYN

Stop and frisk Ray Kelly!! This is racial profiling pure and simple. It leads to marijuana arrests and serves to increase the fingerprint database. After the killing of so many "suspects" in the past month it should be clear that the police are overreacting. I have been stopped and frisked myself walking home from the subway. Presumably I was stopped because I lived in a Hassidic neighborhood but I am not Hassidic. When I went to the precinct to file a complaint I was told that the precinct didn't have any complaint forms but I could come back later when they got some new ones. Our criminal justice system is broken beyond repair.

Feb. 15 2012 10:45 AM
Ben from Westchester

Brian, you just made a HUGE mistake on the air. PLEASE do not confuse the terms "profiling" and "racial profiling."

"Racial profiling" is of course a subject of great controversy. That is a great topic for on the air discussion.

"Profiling" is something EVERY policeman needs to do constantly to do his or her job correctly. If someone is driving a beat up car, making several passes at a storefront, and looking like they have no place in the neighborhood except to rob that storefront, that is "profiling" whatever the race of the person in the car.

Frankly, "profiling" is something that every sales person, every bus driver, every public school teacher does all day long.

Feb. 15 2012 10:44 AM
Robert from NYC

As one correspondent recently stated, this mayor has made NYPD his personal police department and Ray Kelly who is nothing but a thug in fancy suits paid for by the many corrupt bucks he's collected, is the mayor's personal lackey. It's time to get rid of Kelly. Over 600,000 stops and searches and they're bragging that they got over 800 guns? WOW, over 600,000 stops and 800 guns. Think about that ratio. This is nothing less than a police-like state. They claim crime has gone down but that's based on the statistics they choose to use. In fact we hear of more and more serious crimes being reported daily and you folks at WNYC should know that because you report them daily!! Listen NYC, you don't want a billionaire or a business man running your city, you want an intelligent leader who knows and understands social and economic issues and who hires deputies who are expert in these areas and who can guide and work together to run this very complicated and huge craziness called NYC. You don't want a rich egotist who brings in his developer friends to come in and live off the corrupt system we see all around us. We need to clean it up not profit off of it.

Feb. 15 2012 10:18 AM

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