Though it has been ruled unconstitutional, Police Commissioner James O’Neill revealed that the New York City Police Department still uses stop and frisk. He told John Catsimatidis on the Cats Roundtable AM 970 Sunday morning that the NYPD does not perform the practice in the same frequency with which they did previously, but rather, now he says, they are more efficient with it.
“Stop-and-question (and frisk) hasn’t gone away… It’s something that we continue to do, certainly not in the numbers that it was done in the past but it’s pretty fruitful for us,” he said.
Rather than perform thousands of fruitless stops, the NYPD’s cops are zeroing in on those who have previously committed crimes.
As of Sunday, major crimes in New York City are down about 3.5 percent, O’Neill told the radio show, a drop from 84,948 major crime incidents to 82,029.
There have been 2,944 gun arrests, up 18 percent from 2,694, according to public records. There was a 9.5 percent drop in shootings, from 1,111 to 1,005. The commissioner also noted that nearly 3,000 guns have been recovered thus far this year via seizures and buybacks.
There have also been 10 fewer homicides, a 3.4 percent decrease from 293 to 283, records show.
“New York is a very safe place and it’s going to continue to get safer,” he said.
What could be the catch? For starters, stop and frisk was ruled unconstitutional in 2013. U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled in 2013 that the stop and frisk practice violated the Constitution in the groundbreaking case, Floyd v. City of New York.
Judge Scheindlin’s ruling was that stop and frisk as a practice was discriminatory for Black people and Hispanic people, which is a violation of both the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments.
“The Equal Protection Clause’s prohibition on selective enforcement means that suspicious blacks and Hispanics may not be treated differently by the police than equally suspicious whites,” the judge said in the ruling.
Black people and Hispanic people have said for decades that stop and frisk targeted them unfairly. And with the ruling that confirmed this, one would think that would be the end. Yet somehow it is not.