The murder rate in New York City fell by nearly 20% in 2012. While it appears to be good news, it also involves some controversy.
The New York City Police Department insists the improvement is the result of sending additional police to precincts experiencing increased violence combined with stop-and-frisk screening of people in the area. Others disagree.
Let’s take a look at the statistics. As of Christmas Eve 2012, there were 414 murders in NYC, compared to 508 in 2011 according to a tally obtained by Daily News. For the first time since statistics were first recorded in 1963, no NYC precinct had more than 20 murders. There were also fewer shootings in 2012 than in 2011, from 1,478 down to 1,353. By the same date, the homicide rate was on track to come in below the suicide rate, which stood at about 475.
No doubt, most people have become used to increased intervention by law enforcement and security officials during the past decade.
However, some doubt that the decrease in crime is connected to the stop-and-frisk practice. The New York Civil Liberty Union (NYCLU) notes that 87% of NYPD stop-and-frisks in 2011 were of Black or Latino suspects. These stops resulted in a weapons discovery in less than 2% of the time. On the other hand, stop-and-frisks of white suspects resulted in weapons discoveries almost 3% of the time.
In December 2012, the NYCLU won a lawsuit to bar the NYPD from keeping a database of personal information pulled from stop-and-frisk subjects who were cleared of any wrongdoing. During the first week of January, U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin sided with a group of Bronx residents to prohibit unwarranted stop-and-frisks near certain buildings in their neighborhood. If you are arrested as a result of a stop-and-frisk, please contact us. As experienced criminal defense lawyers, we can advise you of your rights and fight rigorously in your defense.
Posted in Criminal Defense