The New York Police Department has introduced the “receipt” cops will be required to issue to people they question during street stops, the New York Daily News reports. Patrick Lynch, head of the largest police union, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, called the paperwork “another nail in the coffin of proactive policing” and predicted a rise in retaliatory complaints against cops. “Instead of improving community relations, these receipts will accelerate an increase in crime and disorder, which will damage the city's economic health while hurting those crime-ridden communities who need our protection the most,” he said. The “What Is A Stop?” slip will go to those stopped but not arrested. It requires officers to give their name and check one or more of six factors that led to the stop, such as a person being near a crime scene or matching a suspect's description.
The form also explains the legal authority officers have to conduct stops in the first place. A Sept. 21 internal order underscores that two factors police were previously able to cite — a suspect making a furtive movement or being in a high crime area — are not cause enough for a stop. The order says people can't be stopped “because they are members of a racial or ethnic group that appears more frequently in local crime suspect data.” Christopher Dunn of the New York Civil Liberties Union called the changes “important first steps in reducing illegal and discriminatory stops, while the new receipt will improve accountability and hopefully de-escalate tensions.” Street stops reached a record high of nearly 700,000 in 2011 but are on a pace for about 42,000 this year.