Police Powers in New York – NYTimes.com

Police Powers in New York – NYTimes.com.

The Police Department’s tendency toward blanket surveillance is on vivid display in its stop-and-frisk program, which results in the stopping of more than 600,000 mainly minority citizens on the streets every year. The department credits the program with reducing crime, but there is no proof that it does. A study carried out in connection with a federal lawsuit against the department has found that only about 6 percent of stops result in arrest and that less than 1 percent turn up weapons. In addition to criminalizing the victims of these stops, the program has undermined respect for law enforcement in the very communities where it is most needed.