Former Los Angeles Police Department Commissioner Bill Bratton, who is now a leading candidate to head the New York City Police Department under newly elected Mayor Bill de Blasio, expanded the use of "stop and frisk" while in California, a practice de Blasio has vowed to end in New York.
The New York Daily News reports
that in 2002, the year Bratton began his tenure at the LAPD, police stopped 587,200 suspicious pedestrians and drivers.
Six years later, with Bratton in office, The Daily News said, the number climbed to 875,204, marking a hike of nearly 50 percent, according to a May 2009 report from the Harvard Kennedy School.
And while critics, including de Blasio, complain that under New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, blacks and other minorities are targeted under stop-and-frisk laws, minorities were also being stopped by Bratton's police officers under the same laws in Los Angeles.
When stop and frisk was at its peak under Bratton in 2008, 23 percent of all the people police stopped were black, even though African-Americans only represented about 9 percent of the city's population at that time. Meanwhile, non-Hispanic whites, or about 30 percent of all Los Angeles residents, were stopped 15 percent of the time, but Hispanics, who represented nearly half the city's population, were stopped about half the time.
Meanwhile, in New York in 2008, when civil rights groups launched their class action lawsuit against the city over the stops, 53 percent of those being stopped were African-Americans, who made up a quarter of the city's population. Another 32 percent of those stopped were Hispanic and 11 percent were white. However, whites made up about 44 percent of the city's population, while Hispanics represented 28 percent.
But unlike in New York, more stops resulted in arrests in Los Angeles. According to the New York Civil Liberties union, only about 6 percent of the NYPD stops ended up in arrests. However, the Harvard study said in Los Angeles, 30 percent of the stops brought an arrest.
“The pattern (in L.A.) suggests that police officers stopped people for good reasons and were willing to have the district attorney scrutinize those reasons,” the study said.
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