I’ve noted before that over 80% of all people targeted for stop and frisk searches by the NYPD are black or Latino, but a new report by the New York Public Advocate found what other studies have also found, that the percentage of white people found to be breaking the law is actually higher than black or Latino people.
The likelihood a stop of an African American New Yorker yielded a weapon was half that of white New
Yorkers stopped. The NYPD uncovered a weapon in one out every 49 stops of white New Yorkers. By contrast, it took the Department 71 stops of Latinos and 93 stops of African Americans to find a weapon.
The likelihood a stop of an African American New Yorker yielded contraband was one-third less than that of white New Yorkers stopped. The NYPD uncovered contraband in one out every 43 stops of white New Yorkers. By contrast, it took the Department 57 stops of Latinos and 61 stops of African Americans to find contraband.
Despite the overall reduction in stops, the proportion involving black and Latino New Yorkers has remained unchanged. They continue to constitute 84 percent of all stops, despite comprising only 54 percent of the general population. And the innocence rates remain at the same level as 2011 – at nearly 89 percent.
This is likely not because white people are committing more crimes. It’s more likely because officers are only stopping white people if there is a genuine reason to suspect they’re engaged in criminality. For blacks and Latinos, any suspicion at all is viewed as a good reason to stop and frisk someone because they are viewed as inherently more criminal; for whites, there must be a stronger reason for the suspicion. Either way, the racial inequality here is absolutely obvious.
And remember, the NYPD chief of police thinks they don’t target minorities enough in the stop and frisk program.