2011's seen a 13 percent increase in New Yorkers getting patted down by cops. As of September the NYPD has stop-and-frisked 514,000 people. And according to The New York Civil LIberties Union, a staggering 4 million people have been stopped since the controversial program started in 2004.
Despite a lawsuit against the department claiming the stop-and-frisks discriminate against minorities (in 2008, 80 percent of those stopped were black or latino) and a call from city officials, including Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, for the federal government to investigate the program, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne defended the practice this week as a success in curbing crime.
"Police stops comport proportionately with violent crime and save lives, most of young minority men who are disproportionately the victims of murder and other violent crime," he said, according to The New York Daily News.
Donna Lieberman, the NYCLU's executive director, is worried the searches are invasive. "Entire neighborhoods in NYC are turning into Constitution- free zones," she said. "A walk to the subway or corner deli should not carry the assumption that you will be confronted by police, but that is a disturbing new reality for many New Yorkers."
A NYCLU statement also notes that of the 152,311 times the NYPD stopped and interrogated New Yorkers between July 1 and September 30, 88 percent of those encounters did not result in arrests or tickets.