State AG: Convictions From Stop-And-Frisk Low

November 14, 2013

9210469_448x252State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is weighing in on the city police department’s controversial stop-and-frisk policy with a new report that shows a very low conviction rate under the program.

Schneiderman’s office looked at nearly 150,000 arrests from 2.4 million stops from 2009 to 2012.

The analysis found that about half of those arrests — or three percent of stops — resulted in convictions, and one tenth of one percent led to convictions for violent crimes.

It also found that just point three percent of stops led to jail sentences of more than 30 days.

The writers of the report acknowledge that they focused on a narrow question that does not address the entire stop-and-frisk debate.

The report did not attempt to measure the deterrent effect police stops might have.

According to Schneiderman, the stop-and-frisk policy has led to a sharp rise in lawsuits claiming police violated a person’s civil rights.

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Both Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly have credited the measure with a reduction in the city’s crime rate.

Meanwhile, a federal appeals court will not reinstate the judge who ruled against the city in a lawsuit over stop-and-frisk.

Last month, a three judge panel removed Judge Shira Scheindlin, saying she misapplied a ruling that allowed her to preside over the case and made public statements that raised questions about her objectivity.

Her lawyer appealed the move, saying Scheindlin was denied the right to defend herself. But the panel denied the appeal.

The judges also clarified their earlier ruling, saying there was no evidence of ethical violations or judicial misconduct on the part of Scheindlin.

Scheindlin had ruled that stop-and-frisk discriminated against minorities and appointed a monitor to oversee the policy.

The city says the panel’s refusal to reinstate her was correct.

Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has said he plans to drop the city’s appeal of Scheindlin’s ruling (source).

Editor’s note: We found it interesting that in the training photo above provided by the NYPD, they are training police officers to make arrests in a housing projects (like the Mitchell Houses in the Bronx), not in the suburbs and not on the streets of NYC.

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