A report released Thursday by the state attorney general’s office claiming that the stop-question-and-frisk tactic did not deter crime is flawed, the New York Police Department says.
The report, which analyzed about 150,000 arrests from about 2.4 million street stops from 2009 to 2012, found that only half of the arrests resulted in convictions or guilty pleas. The other half were never prosecuted or were dismissed, or charges were adjourned in contemplation of dismissal.
But police spokesman John McCarthy said that the tactic was meant to deter crimes before they occur, not result in a conviction. He said that police are allowed to stop someone if they believe the person has committed a crime or is about to.
“The report is clearly flawed, which is why it makes absolutely zero recommendations,” John J. McCarthy, a spokesman for the department, said in an emailed statement. “This analysis somehow just ignores situations where an officer’s action deters or prevents a crime from occurring in the first place. Those situations never result in an arrest, conviction or jail time because a crime is prevented.”
The report by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says that street stops have led to a conviction just 3 percent of the time.
In related news, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled Wednesday that U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin can’t challenge her removal from the suit over the stop-and-frisk tactic, which she found unconstitutional.
The court said Scheindlin ran “afoul of the Code of Conduct for United States judges” by making remarks to the press while the case was pending and suggesting that lawyers opposing the tactic use a court rule to steer a case to her. The appeals court said it found no misconduct or bias on her part.
New York City appealed her ruling and won a stay from the appeals court delaying changes she ordered during the appeal. However, Bill de Blasio, the Democrat elected to replace Bloomberg as mayor, opposed stop-question-and-frisk in his campaign and said he will withdraw the city’s appeal.