A new study about police stop-and-frisk encounters in Newark found that one quarter of police stops ended in an arrest or a summons, about twice as often as they do in New York City, reports the New York Times. The study, by the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, is the first to examine the stop-and-frisk practices of the Newark Police Department, which only last year began publicly releasing data about street stops.
The group's executive director, Udi Ofer, said that the data depicted “a troubling picture of stop and frisk in Newark.” He added, “We have serious concerns regarding the high volume of stops, the racial disparity of who is getting stopped and the fact that 75 percent of stops targeted people who engaged in no wrongdoing.” The study comes amid a Justice Department civil-rights investigation into the Newark Police Department. The data are incomplete and leave many important questions unanswered. For example, it is not clear how many firearms or knives the police seized as a result of the stops, a crucial indicator that police watchdog and civil liberties groups look to in evaluating the constitutionality and effectiveness of the practice.