By Rob Abruzzese
Special to Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Looking to avoid being stopped and frisked by the NYPD? Try moving to Bay Ridge.
The NYPD released a report this week on its controversial stop-and-frisk procedure that breaks down information by precinct and by race. The 68th Precinct that patrols Bay Ridge had the least amount of stops in the city in 2011 with just 2,890 incidents, according to the report.
The report includes statistics from the year 2011, when there were 685,724 stop-and-frisks in total. Brooklyn was right at the forefront with both the most heavily stopped neighborhoods – Brownsville, East New York, and Cypress Hills – and also with the least stopped neighborhood, Bay Ridge.
The New York Civil Liberties Union, which petitioned the NYPD to release this report, charges that the report confirms their suspicion that stop-and-frisk is being used to target minorities.
"While it appears at first blush to be a slick, fact-filled response, nothing in the report can dispute the reality that stop-and-frisk NYPD-style is targeted overwhelmingly at people of color, so innocent of any criminal wrongdoing, that all but 12 percent walk away without so much as a ticket," NYCLU’s Executive Director, Donna Lieberman, said in a statement.
Indeed, in Bay Ridge, an area with a black and Hispanic population of just 16.5 percent, 37.5 percent of everyone stopped was either black or Hispanic, according to the report.
Minority neighborhoods are often the most heavily targeted. The report details 31,100 stops in the neighborhoods of East New York and Cypress Hills, both patrolled by the 75th Precinct, which has the most stops of any precinct in the entire city. Policemen cited that the most common reason for stops in that area was suspicion of weapons possession, which accounted for 31.3 percent of the stops.
Brownsville, patrolled by the 73rd Precinct, ranks second in the entire city, with 25,167 stops in 2011. Suspicion of weapons possession is the most common cause of stops in this area as well, accounting for 35 percent of stops.
In Coney Island, Sea Gate, and Brighton Beach – all patrolled by the 60th Precinct – the residential population is just 30 percent black and Hispanic, but 75.2 percent of the 9,952 stops in 2011 targeted black and Hispanic suspects.
While suspicion of weapons possession provokes the majority of stops in many neighborhoods, it is not the most common cause across the board.
In Red Hook, patrolled by the 76th Precinct, 4,659 stops were recorded, with grand larceny auto ranking as the top reason in 18.6 percent of stops. Again, in this neighborhood, a disproportional amount of black and Hispanic citizens were stopped as compared to the rest of the population; while blacks and Hispanics represent 35.8 percent of the population in this area, they make up 77.6 percent of the stops.
In Brooklyn Heights, patrolled by the 84th Precinct, there were just 5,214 stops, with robbery being the most common reason given at 16.3 percent of the time. While white people make up 62.2 percent of the population in that area, they are stopped just 12.2 percent of the time, while black citizens, who make up 14.1 percent of the denizens, are stopped 64.1 percent of the time.
The NYPD did not respond to requests for comment on their report. Spokesman Paul Browne did give a statement to the Daily News earlier in the week denying racial profiling: "Are there more stops in [East New York] than in Riverdale? Yes. Why? Because there is more crime there and because we put more resources into that precinct.”