Only One in 50 Stop-and-Frisk Arrests Lead to Violent Crime Convictions, Says Attorney General

Categories: Stop and Frisk

spidermanstopandfrisk.jpg
Flickr/David Shankbone
Even Spider-Man says so.
Stop-and-frisk is an ineffective, wasteful, sinister program, and now there's data to prove it. New York's Attorney General released a report on Thursday describing in painful detail just how profound a policy failing NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly's pet program is. (The Village Voice would venture that's a moral failing, too, but we're waiting for someone to design that study.) Get this: Only one in 50 stop-and-frisk arrests results in convictions for violent crimes. It's the same figure for weapons possession convictions -- that's 0.1 percent of all stops made.

See also: Watch Ray Kelly Driven From the Stage by Hecklers at Brown University

The report measures the efficacy of the program as it was applied between 2009 an 2012, a period during which police conducted 2.4 million stops that resulted in 150,000 arrests. That means for every one arrest resulting from a stop, 15 did not.

And of those arrests, only 3 percent lead to convictions.

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New York Attorney General's Office Report

The report is full of stark graphs and charts like the one above. For example, the graph showing that 73 percent of white stop-and-frisk suspects arrested for marijuana possession get their cases adjourned, while only 51 percent of black defendants are afforded the same leniency.

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Attorney General's Office Report

But the A.G.'s office mostly leaves aside the (big) problem of race; the study makes the case that stop-and-frisk is not sound policy from a financial perspective. Why? Because the city is spending more and more money defending the constitutionality of the program in court.

Read the whole thing below. Though the debate over stop-and-frisk has been at least partially data-driven since the 1999 study that found that black and Hispanic city residents were disproportionately affected by the policy, this new report adds an important layer to the debate in a language we can all understand: money.

Read the report on the next page.


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