A new NYPD study shows New York City homicides for the year are on track to drop to a record low, with 20.5% fewer murders than the 448 at the same time last year.
And despite studies disproving the correlation between stop-frisks and decreased crime, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne once again credited the controversial police practice with the decline in violence, saying that an "illegal gun taken from someone’s hip was likely a gun used to rob, wound or kill someone."
He added, "Surging resources to where violent crime occurs has continued to drive murder numbers down."
Browne's logic, however, doesn't quite add up.
In the second quarter of this year, after much public pressure, NYPD stop-and-frisks dropped significantly. From The New York Times:
The Police Department conducted 203,500 stops in the first quarter, a record number. But in the second quarter, April, May and June, the police stopped 133,934 people, the Police Department’s chief spokesman, Paul J. Browne, said.
That this 34 percent drop in stop-and-frisks correlated with a record low homicide rate would seem to discredit the practice's importance in curbing crime.
City Councilman Jumaane Williams, who last month proposed the Community Safety Act, a bill that would increase police accountability, said in a statement:
Mayor Bloomberg has publicly admitted that the use of stop, question and frisk has no correlation with the murder rate, and under direct questioning his personal counsel could not confirm the nature of its relationship with the decrease in homicides. The connection to gun violence is also tenuous at best, considering the historical rise under this administration of stop, question and frisks along with the relatively unchanged number of shootings; this causal link is further weakened by the news that as stop, question and frisks have declined this year, the number of New Yorkers being shot has went down rather than up.
Earlier this year, a map produced by WNYC showed that NYPD stop-and-frisk "hot spots" were not necessarily the same place where cops were discovering illegal guns:
Although 87 percent of those stopped by the NYPD in 2011 were black or Latino, an NYCLU report revealed that "a weapon was found in only 1.8 percent of blacks and Latinos frisked, as compared to a weapon being found in 3.8 percent of whites frisked."
And as previously reported, the drastic rise in stop-and-frisks in the past decade is disproportionate to the number of guns confiscated: