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New York City Police Department Abusive Stop and Frisk Policy

New York City Police Department History of Stop and Frisk, Police Brutality, Malicious Prosecution, and False Arrest

The New York City Police Department (“NYPD”) made 4.4 million stops between January 2004 and June 2012. Black and Hispanics made up 80% of the 4.4 million people stopped. According to the landmark decision in Floyd v City of New York, 959 F. Supp2d 540 (2013) the court found that the New York City Police Department's use of stop and frisk violated the constitutional rights of black and Hispanic New Yorkers in two ways:

  • (1) they were stopped without a legal basis in violation of the Fourth Amendment; and
  • (2) they were targeted for stops because of their race in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The court in Floyd v City of New York also found the following additional facts:

  • The number of stops per year rose sharply from 314,000 in 2004 to a high of 686,000 in 2011.
  • 52% of all stops were followed by a protective frisk for weapons. A weapon was found after 1.5% of these frisks. In other words, in 98.5% of the 2.3 million frisks, no weapon was found.
  • 8% of all stops led to a search into the stopped person's clothing, ostensibly based on the officer feeling an object during the frisk that he suspected to be a weapon or immediately perceived to be contraband other than a weapon. In 9% of these searches, the felt object was, in fact, a weapon. 91% of the time, it was not. In 14% of these searches, the felt object was in fact contraband. 86% of the time it was not.
  • 6% of all stops resulted in an arrest, and 6% resulted in a summons. The remaining 88% of the 4.4 million stops resulted in no further law enforcement action.
  • In 52% of the 4.4 million stops, the person stopped was black, in 31% the person was Hispanic, and in 10% the person was white.
  • In 2010, New York City's resident population was roughly 23% black, 29% Hispanic, and 33% white.
  • In 23% of the stops of blacks and 24% of the stops of Hispanics, the officer recorded using force. The number for whites was 17%.
  • Weapons were seized in 1.0% of the stops of blacks, 1.1% of the stops of Hispanics, and 1.4% of the stops of whites.
  • Contraband other than weapons was seized in 1.8% of the stops of blacks, 1.7% of the stops of Hispanics, and 2.3% of the stops of whites.
  • Between 2004 and 2009, the percentage of stops where the officer failed to state a specific suspected crime rose from 1% to 36%.

I represent New Yorkers in false arrest and use of excessive force litigation because every citizen has the right to be free from abuse of force by the government. The Founding Fathers created a government and disarmed themselves, giving the government a monopoly on the use of physical force. In return, the government explicitly promised in the Bill of Rights that it would protect our rights.

The Bill of Rights is a series of restrictions on the power of the United States government to interfere with our natural rights of liberty and property, including but not limited to, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, free assembly, free association, and the right to keep and bear arms. The Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments to the United States Constitution are a part of the Bill of Rights which is the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution.

The government must have objectively defined laws, rules, and procedures for the trial and punishment of crimes. We have a right to defend ourselves against false accusations and imprisonment by an overzealous prosecutor, a biased judge, or a corrupt government.

The American jury system because it is the only legal system where regardless of your socioeconomic, racial, or religious background it can keep the government to its promise of protecting our rights. Thomas Jefferson wrote, “I consider Trial by Jury as the only anchor yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution”. The Founding Fathers did not trust an all-powerful government such as the monarchy that existed in England. The American jury system keeps the government to its promise of protecting the rights of the innocent.

You have the right to an attorney who will help protect you from the abuse of governmental power. The right to counsel is the key to protecting our right to liberty and life. The right to counsel is most important at the time a fellow citizen is arrested. Former United States Supreme Court Justice Byron White said that the greatest miscarriage of justice occurs at the identification phase of criminal prosecution.

Consequently, if you are considered a person of interest by the government or have been abused or falsely accused of a crime you must get immediate legal representation. For an immediate free consultation please call Bryan J. Hutchinson Bronx, New York police brutality lawyer at (718) 671-0900.