NEW YORK (AP) — The New York police are emphasizing a stop-and-frisk strategy as part of a new campaign against gun violence, which hurts communities of color and breaks the law, it’s reported. a court-appointed federal observer on Monday.
Local police Neighborhood Security Teams – special units deployed over the past 14 months to confiscate weapons in areas with high crime rates – have engaged in “unconstitutional policing” by stopping and searching too many people without justification, the police said. researcher Mylan Denerstein.
In one police district, Denerstein noted, only 41% of stops, 32% of pat-downs and 26% of searches were legitimate.
Replacing the anti-crime units police dismantled in 2021, Neighborhood Safety Teams operate in 34 areas where 80% of violent crime occurs, mostly communities of color. 97% of people stopped by crews were black or Hispanic.
A spokesman for the mayor, Eric Adams, said city officials “have serious reservations” about Denerstein’s methodology and had not known about his findings until they were reported in the press.
The spokesman, Fabien Levy, said shootings have decreased since the creation of the Neighborhood Safety Teams.
Agents assigned to those units “have enhanced their training and supervision to ensure that we not only keep New Yorkers safe, but also protect their civil liberties,” Levy said, stating that “any unconstitutional stop is unacceptable and we aspire to do better every day for New Yorkers.”
Denerstein said he began his study after Adams announced in March 2022 that local police would deploy such teams in some districts to combat gun violence. Members of those teams, wearing modified uniforms and driving unmarked cars, stop people, search and pat down people in their assigned neighborhoods.
“Unfortunately, the results are disappointing,” Denerstein wrote.
Despite their training and experience, officers assigned to these units “generally appear to be stopping, frisking and frisking individuals with an unsatisfactory level of compliance. Too many people are being stopped, frisked and searched illegitimately,” he said.
In 2013, a federal judge found that the NYPD had violated the civil rights of black and Hispanic New Yorkers with its pat-down policy, which was part of an effort to get guns and drugs off the street with frequent stops and searches.
US District Judge Shira Scheindlin concluded that these brief detentions were a form of indirect racial profiling. Former mayor Michael Bloomberg, once a strong advocate of that strategy, has since apologized for its use.
Since the ruling, police said there had been a sharp drop in people stopped, averaging about 11,730 people a year between 2016 and 2022, compared with a record of almost 686,000 short-term stops in 2011.
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