There is a widespread belief among residents of poorer communities in New York City and other cities that traffic stops, the subject of two of the most serious investigations into the police department, are targeted toward young black men. While the police department has repeatedly emphasized that traffic stops are carried out with proper criteria and are part of the agency’s social enforcement work — specifically reducing traffic collisions and saving lives — there is no question that blacks have been disproportionately targeted.
The most recent data collected by the federal government, collected on a voluntary basis by some cities, showed that roughly 11 percent of traffic stops involved individuals of color. But the scrutiny of the NYPD’s “stop and frisk” practices have led to a much deeper look at how people who are stopped are treated once they are stopped. The data provided to the United States Justice Department in 2015 showed that about three-quarters of people stopped are not actually suspects of any offense, but end up being released without being arrested or issued a ticket, usually due to insufficient evidence.
Six months ago, in October, a prosecutor in the Eastern District of New York tried — unsuccessfully — to prove that minorities were disproportionately targeted by stop-and-frisk-style policing. Last week, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said such profiling must end.
Read the full story at The New York Times.
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