Stop & Frisk Database

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Martin Golden, New York State Senator, R-22, Brooklyn, argues that Governor Paterson should veto legislation prohibiting keeping the names of the innocent who are stopped and frisked by the police. Eric Adams, New York State Senator, D-20, Brooklyn, and former head of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, defends the bill he sponsored in the Senate prohibiting the NYPD from adding information on innocent individuals who are stopped and frisked.


Eric Adams and Martin Golden

Comments [58]

Harlan Barnhart from Queens, NY

An anecdote of how the "stop and frisk" info is used to fight crime:

My friend, an 18 year-old black male perpetually dressed hip hop, got a job as a messenger/courier in Manhattan. He had been semi-homeless for a while so I was glad to see he was mature enough to hold down this job. One day he emerged from a subway in a rush to deliver the package under his arm and two NYPD officers jump out of their cruiser, throw him to the ground, knees in the back, cuff him and put him in the car. They were delighted to find an outstanding warrant for failing to appear in court to answer a charge of jumping the turnstile in the train station. So he went straight to Rikers. After a day or two a rep. from the DA comes, shoves papers under his nose and says if he signs, he can be out with time served and a FELONY CHARGE of robbery with a deadly weapon. When he refuses, the DA guy says nothing, picks up his papers and leaves. Every six weeks when the case came before the judge to DA rep would ask for "more time to find witnesses" which was always granted. Then he would try to get my friend to sign the confession and leave until the next hearing. After six or seven months, he got into a bad fight in Rikers, got hurt and his Mom wired the money from Boston to bail him out. Three days later at the next hearing, he appeared in a suit with a haircut and the DA guy immediately stood and asked the judge to dismiss the case.

This is justice in NYC. I imagine that guy is rapidly moving up the ladder in the DA's office. Maybe he will be governor some day and then run for president.

Jul. 07 2010 09:12 PM
Voter from Brooklyn

And Esq, both of those incidents with the NYPD happened last week. I still remember the plate number of the car in front of Dunkin becasue if they didn't have the headlights on, I probably wouldn't have noticed them. Was going to report it, but ultimately did not.

Jul. 07 2010 03:34 PM
Voter from Brooklyn

You’re right on most accounts, but not all. To take the approach former president of Mexico Vicente Fox (and current president Calderon as well) did in regards to border drug wars: Yes, 125th Street does and should shoulder some of the blame, but if the demand down on Wall Street, Christopher Street, 23rd Street, 42nd Street, 59th Street, 72nd Street and 96th Streets weren’t so great, maybe 125th Street would have less of a problem. Methamphetamines, powder cocaine, heroin and I believe prescription drug abuse as well are largely white drugs. I recall hearing reports that minorities and whites use marijuana in equal quantities, the only difference being where it is used and the likelihood of being caught. You seem to be proposing people below 110th are not as responsible for drug violence because it’s not happening in their back yards. My border violence comment had to do with how literally millions of people in New York City are fueling drug wars south of the border. And I don’t buy BS claims about growing one’s own out of concern for the people of Chihuahua.
On rape and molestation… Let us first pretend all rape kits are actually processed. Think of how much easier it would be to catch and keep rapists who aren’t acquaintances off the streets, and for the ones who are acquaintances, think of how much easier it would be to protect frightened victims if anyone who sets foot on New York City soil was thoroughly profiled by the police including DNA sampling.
Part of the problem with law enforcement is law enforcement. I’ve never been stopped nor frisked, but my last two interactions with NYPD officers were pretty much the same: coming within a foot of getting hit on a crosswalk by a cruiser without sirens or lights that wasn’t going to stop for a red light or pedestrians and being forced off the sidewalk by a cruiser that needed to get that much closer to a Dunkin Donuts by driving then parking on the sidewalk out front instead of using the attached parking lot or drive thru. Both ended with a smile or laugh from the officers involved. That’s how NYPD officers behave in minority-majority neighborhoods. Neither Courteous, Professional, nor Respectful.
I’ll end with the traditional way of proving your concern for the security of New York City: 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11!

Jul. 07 2010 03:27 PM
Esq from Harlem/South Bronx

Voter from Brooklyn,
I think a big difference between drug use in majority majority areas of NYC and minority areas is the effects of said use on street crime in the areas in question. Coked up day traders aren't robbing their neighbors to support their habits (whether their employers are robbing the American public is another issue for another day, I speak only of street crime here). And that day trader's dealer most likely doesn't lay claim to a portion of the sidewalks of Park Ave and commit violent acts against those who impead on his "turf." Yes, poor neighborhoods out of which the dealers first operate (I believe most of the cocaine in the US eastern seaboard comes from Washington Heights) do bare the burden of the violence. Which is why police should have the abilities to find and arrest those dealers, where they operate. And if we know that they are coming out of Washington Heights (or wherever), it makes more sense to concentrate the effots there rather than wait until they disperse down to make deliveries on Wall Street (though of course I think they should treat those they stop on Wall St. in that inquiry the same way they'd treat anyone they stopped on 125th St.).

The information stored from stop and frisks are useful in cases where the identity of the perp is at issue-- once again, street crimes. Victims of rape, pedophilia, and child abuse usually know their attackers, so there are not the same identity issues that the database seeks to aid. Obviously there are stranger rapes, and I am in favor of any sort of database that can catch those monsters (obviously DNA databases have helped here). Given the high recidivism rates of sex offenders, I understand why they have reporting requirements, though we could debate those in much the same way.

Border control is another issue entirely; I don't see what it has to do with NYC databases given that we are not a border city. I absolutely think we need to beef up our border controls and cargo inspections. If we could stop the drugs before they ever reach Washington Heights, we'd all be better off. Before moving to NYC, I lived 30 minutes from a boarder crossing (albiet with Canada), and it was quick and very easy to zip back and forth.

Street crimes are simply more prevalent in minority areas, so more minorities are going to be stopped. It also means that minorities are more likely to be victims of said street crimes--where is that concern?? Speaking personally as a resident of a high crime area, who is both in favor of civil liberties and very very familiar with law enforcement practices (both myself and my partner work in areas related to law enforcement), I'm all for it.

Jul. 07 2010 01:42 PM
tony from brooklyn

Golden should have been called out on his alarmist statement about the increase in the crime rate. How about it, Commissioner Kelly? And his examples of database success are just another demonstration of the failure of NYC to successfully implement Community Policing, in which actual police, doing their jobs, would know who corresponds to what name in a given neighborhood. And maybe then they would know not to stop and frisk the local dentist or barber just because he "fits the description."

Jul. 07 2010 12:24 PM
Voter from Brooklyn

Esq from Harlem,
I’ve only lived in majority-minority neighborhoods in NYC and I’ve heard gunfire, seen teenagers getting stopped and patted down with illegal handguns being found, seen drug use out in the open and yes, violent crime is more prevalent in majority-minority neighborhoods. That said, I have many friends living in majority-majority neighborhoods and know for a fact illegal drug use (methamphetamines, powder cocaine, marijuana, prescription drug abuse) is rampant; the violence of these crimes are displaced to the neighborhoods where the drugs are bought and our nation’s borders where they come into the US. There’s also rape, pedophilia and child abuse, hate crimes that happen in majority-majority neighborhoods. If stopping rape, child abuse and border crime/national security isn’t reason to catalog all people in NYC, what is?

Jul. 07 2010 11:11 AM
john from office

Mo. Just very mixed heritage, could be black or white. Yes am dominican American.

I just don't lie about situation of people of color.

Jul. 07 2010 10:47 AM
Esq from Harlem/South Bronx

I wonder how many people decrying this policy spend any time in high crime areas, which, yes, are majority minority areas. For those of us who live and work in these areas, we see all sorts of behaviors that you just don't see on the UWS. If some of the "liberal elites" (a club to which I am proud to belong, but not on this issue) came down from their perches and spent some time on the streets in these areas, they would see that the real world is very different from the PC portrayal (and would most likely wish they had a police escort). Those of us who see drug transactions regularly during our morning commute, have to walk into the street when the sidewalk is blocked off with police tape after a shooting, and are routinely sized up by thugs who don't know how to pull up their pants, need the NYPD to have these tools to protect our communities and ourselves.

Jul. 07 2010 10:46 AM
Michael from washington heights

Martin Golden is the WORST kind of fear monger trying to connect this bill with 9/11. Why not just photo and finger print EVERY person in NYC? Though I'm sure Mr. Golden would agree with such a proposal but only in black communities since they commit the most crimes.

Look, if the people in the database were not arrested or cited, their names should not be in ANY police database. Period. How about the police learn to do their jobs without taking away people's liberties. I thought Republicans didn't like government intrusion. I guess that only applies to taxes.

Jul. 07 2010 10:45 AM
Jay F.

Telegram Sam, You're profiling... Marty Golden isn't Jewish, fact is he's American/Irish.

Jul. 07 2010 10:40 AM
Benj Franklin from Phila., PA

We should start a HUAC to investigate those who would give away our liberties. Those who espouse such unAmerican values don't deserve liberties. "They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security deserve neither liberty nor security" - Benjamin Franklin

Jul. 07 2010 10:38 AM
Karen from NYC

Sen. Golden describes a classic police state: everybody's name in the database, and the "innocent" -- those who are not the object of a police investigation -- have "nothing to fear."

In this case, the data base contains a disproportionate number of African-Americans. I believe that the database policy is being abused and that eliminating the database would reduce the number of random "stop and frisk"s.

Jul. 07 2010 10:34 AM
Frank Grimaldi from East Village

At the heart of this issue, You are disscussing the very same issue as what is happening in Arizona.

Let's be honest.

Jul. 07 2010 10:33 AM
Mo from Ohio

@John from Office

On other comment boards you have claimed to be a white man of Hispanic ethnicity from the Dominican Republic. Now you are Hispanic and black.

You also frequently post racist or unfairly negative things about any topic that even slightly mentions blacks or Hispanics.

You certainly have credibility issues, but you clearly also have identity issues.

Jul. 07 2010 10:33 AM
Liam from East Elmhurst

(German accent) Very interesting law, but....stupid!
(Arte Johnson-correction).

Jul. 07 2010 10:32 AM
Cynthia from long island

It's apalling that this happened in the first place. How can anyone justify documenting and identifying people as "possible future offenders?" It's just ass-backwards. What's going on in our United States of America where people are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty? And now our policy is to collect information on people who we decide may commtit a future crime based on appearance? It's just awful.

Jul. 07 2010 10:32 AM
Susan from Chatham, NJ

"If you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear." This is McCarthyism in a nutshell. In our democracy, the government does not have a right to "go fishing;" hence, the rules of evidence governing search, seizure and arrest. What's the difference between the new immigration laws in Arizona, where police are required to demand papers, and the collecting of names of innocent people? This is how fascism creeps in.

Jul. 07 2010 10:32 AM
john from office

No, Mr. Adams it is people out late at night with thug attire, popular with the thug mentality of blacks. These are the people stopped, not the scholar on his way to church. Stop the dressing like thugs, which is a very popular look, that causes police to look at you twice.

Jul. 07 2010 10:32 AM
Amy from Manhattan

I didn't hear any example from Sen. Golden of a criminal found in the stop-&-frisk records of someone who *hadn't been arrested/fined* as a result of the stop-&-frisk.

Jul. 07 2010 10:31 AM
Paul or Paula from Ridgewood NJ

Random stops that are not in response to an incident are unconstitutional, yet somehow they are happening.

It is a further outrage that a wildly disproportionate number of non-whites are stopped even though the incidence of arrests of non-whites is *much* lower than that of whites stopped under this policy.

I have been stopped in NYC, in my car on 14th
St in Manhattan (with NJ plates). I can not discern the reason that I was stopped. Far as I can tell, most other cars were allowed to pass.

I was not frisked, or asked to get out of my car, but I was detained 10 minutes while they checked heaven-knows-what. A thorough explanation of the reason for the stop would have more than appropriate.

I am outraged that there may be a record of this.

My race and gender are immaterial.

Jul. 07 2010 10:31 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

I think we’re developing a consensus here… Either all New Yorkers, visitors, and workers should be catalogued into NYPD files (9-11, 9-11, 9-11… since that’s the rationale for everything in this town) or the list should be purged. Who needs a 4th Amendment, we have an expanded Second now!

Jul. 07 2010 10:28 AM
Liam from East Elmhurst

Go, Mike, in Tribeca-new Mike for Mayor!
Mike Bloomberg is disgusting as a leader-anywhere.

Jul. 07 2010 10:28 AM
jbr from park slope

It really sounds like Sen Golden objects to stop and frisk not to retaining data gathered. If the police are using only race-based factors to investigate, what difference does this practice make. The police could just look at census data or other gov't database to determine the names of black males residing within the vicinity of a crime, if thats what they wanted to know.

Jul. 07 2010 10:27 AM
Tony from Santa Clara, CA

Saying that "you shouldn't be concerned to be on a police file, if you haven't done anything wrong" assumes one thing: The government is honest, defends people's liberties, and will not abuse its power.

Jul. 07 2010 10:26 AM
criticism is good

Wow, Eric Adams needs to learn how to frame his arguments.
And I agree with his goals.

Jul. 07 2010 10:26 AM
Telegram Sam from Staten Island

Adams is right on. Jews (like myself, and Marty Golden) should be especially aware of the history of profiling and keeping "innocent" data on citizens. In America you are innocent until proven guilty. Breathtaking how an elected official like Golden can so misunderstand what real freedom means.

Jul. 07 2010 10:26 AM
Liam from East Elmhurst

A case in point.
My friend worked as a Corrections Officer in Seattle. Late one night, they decided to look at cars in a lot perhaps to purchase later in the day.
A police officer rolled up, he displayed his I.D., and he and his wife were let go. Yet, THERE IS A PERMANENT RECORD of the stop of this police officer and his wife just looking a cars in a dealer's lot. This is, as Senator Adams said, the incline to a police state.
Mike Bloomberg is disgusting as a leader-anywhere. But, he can buy election after election-next, Mort Friedman-state senate?

Jul. 07 2010 10:26 AM
john from office

African Americans dont live in South Africa.

This is the diction and vocabulary of a legistator?, this is why Blacks remain at the bottom of the socio economic scale. Mr. Adams should look up verbage, no such word. Another black fraud, selling out his people.

Jul. 07 2010 10:26 AM
Mike C. from Tribeca

Compromise -- Stop and frisk all white men in the Wall Street area. The odds are good they're up something, like insider trading or just not caring about how their actions effect the entire country, as long as they get rich.

Jul. 07 2010 10:26 AM
artista from greenpoint

Most comments here are right, snark and all (except,sadly, john from office).
Thus do authoritarian societies get spawned, with foolish appeals to safety, safety, safety. Pretty soon liberty (which these same folk screaming for other people's data to be taken and kept forever profess to cherish above all) is gone. Even the Tory leader in Britain has promised to roll back citizen surveillance as a first order of business,
I am ashamed to admit that Marty Golden represents me (and the Times sees fit to publish the always-suspect Heather McDonald on "racism" in the police—as if she'd know. But the editorialized against the veto, I think).
I have had the privilege of riding with the NYC police on stop-and-frisk or stop-and-question, and believe me, it was all race, all the time, in that case, Asians. And the cops were laughing about it.)

Jul. 07 2010 10:25 AM

Crime rates in New York has dropped since Giuliani, through the Bloomberg administrations... if this technique began at the beginning of that trend, it's probably a good thing.

Jul. 07 2010 10:25 AM

hey remember during giuliani time when the NYPD kept a copy of all the yearbooks and were using them as mugshot books. should we also go back to that?

Jul. 07 2010 10:25 AM
Jen from the NYCLU from NYC

Thanks for taking this issue on!

Just want to make sure it's clear what this bill does: It simply stops the police from keeping files on the innocent people officers stop -- the people who walk away without a summons or getting arrested -- around 90 percent of the people the NYPD stops every year.

However, the bill still allows police to keep electronic databases of generic information about stop-and-frisk encounters, such as the gender and race of individuals stopped, and the location of the stops. This data is necessary to independently analyze the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk activity and identify whether officers are engaging in a pattern of racial profiling.

Jul. 07 2010 10:25 AM
Ryan from Jersey City

It seems to me that what this is is intelligence collection. Are there already laws and legal precedents on the books regarding the police's ability to collect intelligence in such ways?

Jul. 07 2010 10:24 AM

Thank you Eric Adams. No doubt, a police state is better at identifying "suspects"--guess wo they will be? Please continue to fight for the constitution and our civil liberties.

Jul. 07 2010 10:23 AM
Jonathan from Brooklyn

Thank you, Eric Adams, for defending our civil rights. The expansion of data profiling is steadily tipping the balance of power/knowledge more and more strongly in favor of the government.

Jul. 07 2010 10:23 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Hooray for Martin Golden!!!

His budget assessment is spot on.
Some sanity on the program.

Please feature more Republican legislators....we need more input from adults.

Jul. 07 2010 10:22 AM

Kafka is right. If we are keeping the names of innocent folks who are stopped and frisked, then we should just take names of everyone.

Why not just stop every 5th person at random subway entrances every day, keep their names, and maybe a list of the goodies in their bags? I think that would also help protect the people of "this great city" as Mr. Golden calls it.

I really wonder why people are so willing to sell out American values so cheaply.

Jul. 07 2010 10:21 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

It does not matter what people do in the future, the question is, is it American to keep people's name and info in a database if they simply stopped and NOT charged with any crime.

For those who think it is a good policy then EVERYONE - white/black rich/poor should be ordered to go down their local precinct and required to give fingerprints, DNA, and a mugshot.

Jul. 07 2010 10:20 AM
philip feil from Manhattan

I was issued a warrant going from an subway car w/o AC into a car with AC on the #1 train where the police were waiting to issue violations, what a waste of time .this is just like entrapment.

Jul. 07 2010 10:20 AM

I agree everyone should be in the government's database. I bet the gestapo & stasi wish they had these databases.

Jul. 07 2010 10:19 AM

Martin Golden's remarks underscore the reason why the bill should NOT be vetoed. Everything he says speaks of a police state.

Jul. 07 2010 10:19 AM
rosie from bklyn

here's an idea: let's require EVERYONE in the u.s. to submit vital information and DNA samples and photos and full histories to the government just in case one of us turns into a bad guy that might be part of a terrorist plot!

Jul. 07 2010 10:18 AM
Clem from Brooklyn

This policy is outrageous, unconstitutional, and tolerated only because it's being done in majority black and Hispanic neighborhoods. The idea that people can be stopped for no reason, frisked, and their names recorded is damning enough, but that it is defended as keeping the rest of us safe is ridiculous. What we conveniently forget is tools used against one group eventually are used against all - the majority of people on the "do not fly" list do not belong to Al Quida.

Jul. 07 2010 10:18 AM
Hugh Sansom

Using the pro-stop-and-frisk guest's reasoning, we might as well just have a database of every single New Yorker.

From a constitutional standpoint, at least that would eliminate the possibility that the current database is skewed on basis of racist inclinations of Ray Kelly, Michael Bloomberg and the NYPD

Jul. 07 2010 10:18 AM
The Truth from Becky

I think more people with no color should be stopped, so they can get the full effect of being stopped for no reason except for being void of color.

Jul. 07 2010 10:18 AM
Mike C. from Tribeca

Does State Senator Golden actually think the police are stopping and frisking innocent people to catch terrorists? His argument resembles that of apologists for police states in more ways than one.

Jul. 07 2010 10:17 AM
j abrams

Why are they frisked in addition to being stopped?

Jul. 07 2010 10:17 AM
Robert from NYC

Yet another paranoid NYer.

Jul. 07 2010 10:17 AM

If keeping the names of all people stopped, charged or not, is resulting in the solving of these cases, wouldn't it make sense, by extension, for the police to keep ALL citizens on file. Think how many cases we'd solve then...

Jul. 07 2010 10:16 AM

A litany of a half dozen cases sounds impressive and frightening, but the database has over **500,000** names of people WHO HAVE NOT BEEN ARRESTED!

If the lists of people on welfare, Social Security, medicare, etc., are routinely checked as suspects in crimes to which they have no connection--that is a profound attack on civil liberties.

This is the classic "if you have nothing to worry about why should you protest" strawman argument--an absolute invasion of our privacy and violation of our civil rights.

Jul. 07 2010 10:16 AM
The Truth from Becky

It still comes down to the judgement of the officer on the scene...also too much human error to factor in to rely on this system.

Jul. 07 2010 10:16 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

Good examples Senator Golden and a case for all people in New York City, residents, workers, students, tourists, and especially anyone traveling through any of NYC’s ports to have their names, heights, weights, Social Security Numbers or other identifying numbers, and addresses on file with the NYPD. Otherwise, the list is biased on its face. Would the senator support a universal list for anyone who sets foot on New York City soil.
Also, of crimes being solved or investigations being aided by these list, what percentage of these positive uses for the list represent the total number of people on the list.

Jul. 07 2010 10:15 AM
James from nyc

Compromise suggestion: Allow the stop and frisk information to be kept in the database, but only until the crime in reference to which the person was stopped has been solved; then have it removed.

Jul. 07 2010 10:15 AM

Why not simply pass a law that requires bodily descriptions and DNA samples of everyone?
Problem solved

Jul. 07 2010 10:15 AM
john from office

Mr. Adams is a fraud. He has always taken the side of the criminal, even though he has a law enforcment background. He is the reason the black community is in dire straits, poor leadership. He should be supporting crime prevention, not apologizing for it. Another black stuffed suit with no historical basis for his actions, no intellect. A fraud.

Jul. 07 2010 10:11 AM
John from office

I Dread this subject. It never gets a fair hearing and the conclusion is that the cops are racist, hunting down innocent "people of color". The reality is that cops patrol where the crime is, not madison avenue, not the upper west side. Those areas patroled are black and hispanic, thereby more "people of Color are stopped" Brian cannot deal with issues of race, too pc to look at the truth.
Would people feel better is we just stopped whites for the hell of it.
How about parents parenting their children of "color", so that they dont end up as criminals or assumed to be criminals.
Before I am called a racist, I am hispanic and black, just not blind and lying to myself.

Jul. 07 2010 10:03 AM

I hope brian is planning to ask why these "leaders" have the time to interfere with NYC when they can't even pass a budget?
maybe brian could let them know how much contempt we have for albany. they might have no idea, that they are considered embarrassing failures.

please leave this mess for the city council to fix

Jul. 07 2010 09:37 AM

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