Kathleen Horan, Reporter, WNYC News
Kathleen Horan is a staff reporter for New York Public Radio, covering the neighborhood beat. She also reports 'Reset', an ongoing series documenting police-community relations in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
It's been known for years that few stop-and-frisks (6%) result in an arrest. A new report released by State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office finds that nearly half of those arrests never result in a conviction.
Part of the reason is that many of the cases don’t make it to court — because the district attorney declined to prosecute or the NYPD voided the arrest at the precinct.
The report looked at 150,000 arrests by the NYPD between 2009 and 2012. More than 40% of the convictions were for minor charges —offenses such as vandalism or trespassing. Racial disparities seen in street stops continue through the arrest and sentencing process, the report found. People of color are more likely to be found guilty. That’s especially true when it comes to marijuana possession.
Schneiderman said he hopes the report will advance the discussion about how to fight crime without overburdening institutions or violating equal justice under the law.
NYPD spokesman John McCarthy said in a statement that the analysis ignores situations where an officer's action deters a crime from being committed in the first place. "The report is clearly flawed, which is why it makes absolutely zero recommendations," the statement read.