Police have made 52,000 stops in four years in an eight-block area of Brooklyn’s Brownsville area, says the New York Times. The encounters – most urgently meant to get guns off the streets – yield few arrests. Across the city, 6 percent of stops result in arrests. In Brownsville, the arrest rate is less than 1 percent. In the more than 50,000 stops since 2006, the police recovered 25 guns.
New York is among several major cities that rely heavily on the stop-and-frisk tactic, but few cities employ it with such intensity. In 2002, the police citywide documented 97,000 of these stops; last year, they registered a record: 580,000. In an era of lower crime rates, te practice has come under intense scrutiny. Lawmakers are monitoring the situation. Civil libertarians are challenging it. Police officials, from Commissioner Raymond Kelly to local precinct commanders, are defending it. Criminologist Richard Rosenfeld of the University of Missouri St. Louis says police should “provide credible evidence that the stop-and-frisk campaign actually is responsible for the crime reductions the city has enjoyed.”