Critic: NY Times Underplays Black Crime In Stop-And-Frisk Stories


New York Times coverage of the New York Police Department’s allegedly racist stop-and-frisk practices is criticized by Heather MacDonald of the Manhattan Institute. MacDonald cites a story this month (which was cited in Crime & Justic News reporting that blacks and Latinos were nine times as likely as whites to be stopped by the police in New York City in 2009, but, once stopped, were no more likely to be arrested.” The fact that blacks, Hispanics, and whites are arrested at the same rate after a stop undercuts, rather than supports, the thesis of racially biased policing, MacDonald says.

When the Times gets around to mentioning crime rates, more than halfway into the piece, it does so because the New York Police Department raises them in its defense, quoting police spokesman Paul Browne as saying “the stops mirrored crime–that while a large percentage of the stops involved blacks, an even larger percentage of violent crimes involved suspects described as black by their victims.” Any given violent crime is 13 times more likely to be committed by a black than by a white perpetrator–a fact that would have been useful to include in the Times’ lead, MacDonald says.

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