Sarah Gonzalez, Reporter, WNYC/NJPR
Sarah Gonzalez is the northern New Jersey enterprise reporter for WNYC and NJPR.
A new report by the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey indicates police in Newark use stop-and-frisk more per capita than police in New York City.
In the final six months of 2013, New York City police stopped 8 of every 1,000 residents.
During the same period, Newark police stopped 91 of every 1,000 residents, according to the ACLU-NJ report.
“Everything is right in saying that’s a number that’s big enough to require some serious attention,” said Christopher Dunn with the New York Civil Liberties Union.
Newark police started releasing monthly reports on stop-and-frisk in July, as part of the Newark Police Department’s Transparency Policy.
Data analyzed by Udi Ofer, the executive director of the ACLU-NJ, found that 75 percent of those stopped in Newark were innocent. (In New York City, 89 percent of those stopped were innocent).
Ofer said the police department has not released all the data it agreed to last summer, such as the reasons people are arrested and ticketed, or whether police found any contraband, including guns, during the frisks.
“We have to get that data,” Ofer said.
“We call on the Newark Police Department to review its stop-and-frisk practices with a particular emphasis on the high volume of stops, the racial disparities in who is getting stopped, and the fact that the vast majority of stops appear to be targeted at innocent people,” he said.
Stops by Race
In New York City, the data on stop-and-frisk excludes stops made when someone is in a vehicle.
It is unclear if Newark’s data includes vehicle stops in addition to pedestrian stops, which could account for the higher volume of stop-and-frisks than New York City.
The Newark police did not respond to our request for a comment or clarification on vehicle stops.