Southern Brooklyn

Stats Show Blacks Disproportionately Targeted For Stop & Frisk In 61st Precinct


You might have thought that the wonderful utopia of Sheepshead Bay was somehow free of the stop-and-frisk controversies igniting throughout New York City. You’d be wrong. New statistics released this morning by the NYPD show that, much like in the rest of the five boroughs, officers from the 61st Precinct are stopping and frisking black men and women at a rate that’s disproportionate to the size of the population.

The NYPD surprised observers this morning by releasing the 2011 figures in a detailed report. The report shows the total number of stops per precinct, the top suspected crime accounting for the stops, and the race of the persons stopped compared to their percentage of the precinct’s population using 2010 census numbers.

Although the vast majority of stops in the 61st Precinct were of white residents, at 49.4 percent, the number comes up short when compared to the number of white residents living in the neighborhood – 72.8 percent.

Conversely, black residents comprise only 3.4 percent of the precinct’s population, yet they accounted for 28.5 percent of the stops. Likewise, Hispanics accounted for 18.8 percent of stop-and-frisks in an around Sheepshead Bay, and yet they only make up 8.3 percent of the neighborhood’s population.

And although they’re the second-largest demographic in the area, at 15.5 percent, Asians were largely left alone by cops. Three-point-three percent of people stopped-and-frisked were Asian.

Stop-and-frisk itself is used less in the 61st Precinct than in many other neighborhoods, with 6,620 stops in 2011. This is far short of the 31,100 stops in East New York’s 75th Precinct – the most stops in any precinct in the city – and our numbers fall near the median range. The top reason cops gave for stopping people in the 61st Precinct was suspicion of robbery, while most of the city’s precincts listed weapons possession as the cause.

Additionally, the racial breakdown of stops may not mirror the breakdown of the residential population, but it does match up closely to the racial breakdown of “all known crime suspects” in the precinct – a catalog of area residents who were the subject of previous criminal complaints. Black residents account for 27.1 percent of known crime suspects, and whites 55.9 percent.

The stop-and-frisk program remains under fire citywide, as critics claim that it overwhelmingly targets the black and Hispanic populations. Of the 685,724 stops citywide, blacks account for 53.1 percent and Hispanics account for 33.9 percent – or 87 percent of all stops. And yet, together, they make up only 52.8 percent of the population.

Comment policy


  1. This stylistics is just stupid. If blacks commit most of the crime on the streets why should cops only stop what’s allowed by their precinct’s population? Was there any brain involved to make up this story?

  2. From the article: “Black residents account for 27.1 percent of known crime suspects, and whites 55.9 percent.”
    55.9 > 27.1; moreover, 55.9 > 27.1*2

  3. Lev, I think the question is not who commits more, but which individual is most likely to. In fact, if you look at the known violent suspects column – those are quite drastic rates in relation to the neighborhood make up! I am guessing that when cops stop and frisk they are looking for weapons… I’ld even guess that at known violent suspect is more likely to have carry weapon than a non. Unreasonable speculation on my part?

  4. There is only one reasonable solution to this, start frisking middle aged Asian women, who are clearly not being stopped and frisked enough, because let’s face it when I am walking home at night and I see an middle aged Asian lady walking towards me I cross the street cause we all know how violent they are.

  5. Remember that the source of both sets of numbers is NYPD themselves. Number for suspects includes “arrested and un-arrested” persons. So if a person got detained, but not arrested due to lack of evidence, the race of that person still goes into these statistical data. For both sets of numbers, it is a “catch-22” situation: more black citizen detained means a justification for more
    black citizen detained. So, in this case I was merely pointing out the involvement of a brain in the article.

    But there are more interesting numbers in these data: depending on year, between 86 and 90 percent of all people stopped (and frisked), were completely innocent – in 2011, for example, 685,724 stops resulted in 605,328 released immediately (88 percent) (by NYPD’s own data).
    We ought to remember the 4th Amendment just as well as we do the more popular first two.

  6. Lev, the article doesn’t deal as much with the 4th amendment as it does with race. I was addressing that.

  7. As for the stats, if it’s the “arrested and un-arrested” stats that are smelling funny to you, you might want to see the stats for homicide in NYC (2011):

    Whites are suspects in only 5.5% of the murders (while making up 44.6% of NYC (census 2010).

    Again – quite disproportionate. Explains who gets stopped and frisked and why.

  8. Therein lies the catch. There’s known crime, or crime we know, and unknown crime, or crime we don’t know. What we know is there is more crime we don’t know (unknown crime) than crime we know (known crime).You see, we think we know blacks account for a larger percentage of unknown crime as comapred to the known crime we know they account for and they know we know that. What we don’t know, and what will probably remain unknown, is just how much unknown crime blacks can take credit for. I don’t think they even know.

  9. “We ought to remember the 4th Amendment just as well as we do the more popular first two” Does this mean you are finally coming around in believing in the Constitution?

  10. Maybe, if we can find a happy medium between repealing a Second Amendment and any weapons with no background checks…

  11. So… Since a lot of Medicare/Medicaid fraud suspects in Brooklyn are Russian-speaking persons, it is justifiable to stop and audit all persons with Russian last names.
    Actually, quite a few on this blog have wrote just that in the recent past…

  12. No, no, that’s not what I am saying at all! What I am saying is that we should eliminate pseudo science – such as statistics and probability from the school curriculum! Everything should be done at random! Allocating resources? Do so randomly! Which treatment should a doctor recommend? The one with the most success? Nope! A random one! Playing poker? Should you fold? Call? Wait for the river? Don’t look at your cards – make the decision randomly! Serial killer in the area? Forbid the FBI to create a profile of the killer – a white guy. That would be racist!

    Oh, yea… Note the absence of the gender breakdown in the above report. Want to bet that women are nowhere half of the frisked suspects? We should march on city hall and demand the end to sexism!

  13. Hey, a quote is a quote – I didn’t say it. But I wish I did – it’s awesome (I would need a lot more meds to come up with that, actually).

  14. Looks like we have here what is known as a false dilemma: either discrimination or anarchy.

    How about old-fashioned police work, the kind that does not require almost 700,000 frisks per year? Such one that was the basis for the Supreme Court decision that started this policy: Terry v. Ohio:

    Officer McFadden “had been a policeman for 39 years and a detective for 35 and that he had been assigned to patrol this vicinity of downtown Cleveland for shoplifters and pickpockets for 30 years”. He had observed plaintiff, Terry, and two other men from a distance, for 10 to 12 minutes, noted that he had never seen them in the area before, and that he had seen them methodically and repeatedly walking past and peering into a store window. Thinking the men are “casing a job, a stick-up,” officer feared “they may have a gun”. When he asked for their names but got only a mumbled response, he stopped Terry and “patted down the outside of his clothing.” He felt a pistol in a coat pocket, which he put his hand into and found a .38-caliber revolver.

    Fast forward through the legal process, the Court allowed the search, concluding that “that there must be a narrowly drawn authority to permit a reasonable search for weapons for the protection of the police officer, where he has reason to believe that he is dealing with an armed and dangerous individual, regardless of whether he has probable cause to arrest the individual for a crime.”

    Nevertheless, the Court noted the seriousness of such procedure: “performed in public by a policeman while the citizen stands helpless, perhaps facing a wall with his hands raised, is a ‘petty indignity.’ It is a serious intrusion upon the sanctity of the person, which may inflict great indignity and arouse strong resentment, and it is not to be undertaken lightly.”

    Perhaps, NYPD could learn a thing or two from Officer McFadden.

  15. “Не дождетесь” means “Don’t bother waiting”, and that was my response to your “FOAD” sentiment.

    So let’s recap: I offered to seek a compromise solution that be in the middle between our positions, and you told me to die. Nice going!

  16. Lev, thanks for the chuckle.

    “noted that he had never seen them in the area before” – that would pretty much apply to black people in a generally white neighborhood. That’s what you are supporting here?

  17. That depends. Manhattan Beach – sure. Nostrand Avenue corner Avenue X – not so much.
    And location is not the only test – please read the rest of that paragraph.

  18. Yea, he saw dudes loitering and he realized he hasn’t seen them before. That’s way different from what cops do now I am sure.

  19. Still not quite. Lets go to original records:

    On October 31, 1963, while on a downtown beat which he had been patrolling for many years, Cleveland Police Department detective Martin McFadden, aged 62, saw two men, John W. Terry and Richard Chilton, standing on a street corner at 1276 Euclid Avenue and acting in a way the officer thought was suspicious. Detective McFadden, who was well-known on the Cleveland police force for his skill in apprehending pickpockets, observed the two proceed alternately back and forth along an identical route, pausing to stare in the same store window. Each completion of the route was followed by a conference between the two on a corner. The two men repeated this ritual alternately between five and six times apiece—in all, roughly a dozen trips. After one of these trips, they were joined by a third man (Katz) who left swiftly after a brief conversation. Suspecting the two men of “casing a job, a stick-up”, detective McFadden followed them and saw them rejoin the third man a couple of blocks away in front of a store.

    The plainclothes officer approached the three, identified himself as a policeman, and asked their names. The men “mumbled something”, whereupon McFadden spun Terry around, patted down his outside clothing, and felt a pistol in his overcoat pocket. He reached inside the overcoat pocket, but was unable to remove the gun. The officer ordered the three into the store. He removed Terry’s overcoat, took out a revolver, and ordered the three to face the wall with their hands raised. He patted down the outer clothing of Chilton and Katz and seized a revolver from Chilton’s outside overcoat pocket. He did not put his hands under the outer garments of Katz (since he discovered nothing in his pat-down which might have been a weapon), or under Terry’s or Chilton’s outer garments until he felt the guns. The three were taken to the police station. Terry and Chilton were subsequently charged with carrying concealed weapons.

    Not a case of simple loitering, I’d say.

  20. These things are subjective. What’s the threshold here, anyway? What if I go back and forth twice? Is that suspicious enough? Three times? Besides this is the officer’s word against the suspects’. They can (and probably will) claim that they were just going to 7/11 to get some soda..

  21. Furthermore, how many people has this officer approached on the street that had nothing on them? What was his success rate? Do you know?

  22. That’s why we have a system of justice. Mr. Terry felt the police was wrong, he appealed, and his case was decided by the court of law. Granted, this process is not foolproof (Kelo v. City of New London, anyone?), but its the best there is (so far).

  23. The article at your link states that about 770 guns were recovered in 2011. I suppose it’s not worth it to you since you don’t live in a high crime area. Besides, you do realize that criminals might think twice before taking a gun with them when they know they might get frisked, right?

  24. Yeah thousands of laws already on the books so lets add a couple more. Its getting old so anyone who wants to keep taking rights away from law abiding tax paying citizens can FOAD. You are arguing here that there should be 4A protection here and what the cops are doing is unconstitutional but restricting my 2A rights is ok. How about restricting 1A rights for stupid people so we dont have to listen to them spew. Those guys from a couple hundred years ago were some smart mofos. They knew this shit would happen again and realized the people need protection from big government so they wrote laws that protect our human rights that we have the second we are born and not given or taken away by anyone.

  25. Duly noted, for the next time when there will be a mention of me not willing to compromise.

    universal background checks has long been “incredibly popular,” winning support from 80-90% of respondents in a host of recent national polls, noted Margie Omero, a pollster who studies the issue.

    Most notably, 85 percent of gun owners and 87 percent of non-owners who participated in the poll support background checks for private and gun show sales, 60 percent of owners and 74 percent of non-owners support a federal database to track gun sales, and 90 percent of owners and 76 percent of non-owners would like laws enacted to prevent mentally ill people from buying guns.

    In other words: “BREAKING: 85 percent of gun owners agree with levp”

  26. The question is, at what price? 700,000 stops per year? Remember the Court talking about “a serious intrusion upon the sanctity of the person, which may inflict great indignity and arouse strong resentment”.

  27. How many stops would you find to be reasonable? There are 35,000 uniformed police in NYC, so that works out to, on average, 20 per cop per year. Less than one stop and frisk per cop every two weeks.

  28. So 1,500 people speak for 100 million gun owners got it. I will tell you again do some of your own research on the subject instead of getting your info from the media. There are background checks NICS already and the number of 40% at gun shows is bullshit. They always fail to mention that only 1.5% of guns purchased at gun shows are used in crimes. Maybe trying to enforce some laws that we already have on the books would be a better than making more laws that only benefit criminals. All of the rebuttals you have come up with are not backed by any facts you keep linking articles or stats that only show the numbers they want without the whole picture to push an agenda. If you care about keeping people safe start talking about lazy cops that write tickets all day to fill their quotas instead of protecting and serving the community.

  29. The greater the population density the less resources you have to do this style of police work. It’s one of those sad truths that we just have to deal with as a society. That town in Ohio doesn’t have 9 Million People.

    A cop on the beat in Brooklyn can patrol the same street and only recognize about 40-60 people.

    A fair yet uneasy balance must be found. It’s made all the more difficult that the criminals blend in with the innocents and raise their voices in unison.

  30. Are you really asking that? Inconveniencing one smug mother fucker is worth the life of one child. Period.

  31. [in 2011,] Officers stopped 168,126 black males between the ages of 14 and 24. Not only is that number staggering, it’s also larger than the actual number of black males in that age group who make up New York City’s population—158,406.

    Going back to my example, how about an audit every year, for no other reason but a Russian last name (since white collar crime rates, etc, etc.)?

  32. The problem is, it is not one. Every black male from 14 to 24 years old, on average, was stopped and frisked at least once in 2010-2011. But there will be no resentment of police (and you and me by transitive power of skin color) among them, no sir!

  33. The key to using the 4th Amendment is the word “unreasonable”.

    How do you define unreasonable? Who sets that level? The people right? I think that stop and frisk is a reasonable search. I think that we need to use science and metrics to figure out who to target so the searches ARE reasonable.

    The searches don’t need to be invasive however. Once technology gets small enough we can build metal detectors/biometric scanners into the frame of public entry ways to subways and schools so everyone gets scanned without being bothered. Without giving away something too private either.

    Till that day comes, I don’t care if it’s racist. When the math shows that a certain subset of people are more likely to commit crime then those people need to be targeted. If a certain group of people are mis-represented in the stats that doesn’t mean the people taking the stats are racist. Perhaps that people needs to look to their neighbors and friends and ask themselves why they feed into the fear and stereotype to make the situation worse, when they should be striving to set an example for the world otherwise.

  34. Oh, yea.. At my high school, every male (including me) had to put his bag through the x-ray machine, got scanned by the metal detectors, and was at random pulled out of the line for further checks (happened to me every 2-3 weeks). I did that for four years straight. I suppose that was reasonable?

  35. Yes, African-Americans in NYC take note of NYPD racial composition and fall in love with them; they sing “Kumbaya” together every night.

  36. Yes, it was. What was unknown was whether anyone would know that my play on what we know about known and unkown crime would be connected to a quote by someone who many people don’t know, or knew but had forgotten what they knew (new unknown knoweds). It’s nice to know that others know what I know about knowns and unknowns even if if they didn’t know I knew about the famous known and unknown quote and was knowingly responding to the post in that vein based on what I remember I knew. Know what I mean?

  37. You might want to be consistent there. Just a few comments ago you were talking about resentment – an emotional response, no? Speaking of biases, you might want to look into confirmation bias. You know, championing that one cops supposed great police work without knowing how his rate of success compared to that of stop n frisk.

  38. Not sure what you are responding to. Are you suggesting that over half of NYPD on patrol does not consist of minorities? Or are you suggesting that these minority officers don’t participate in stop n’ frisk?

  39. Agree on the first point. Let’s stick with legal area. Which brings us to the second point: U.S. Supreme Court went through all that trouble to describe what constitutes reasonable and agreed that in the case presented police work was good enough for the search in question to be reasonable.

  40. lmao, and every guy handed off everything he didn’t want seen to some girl so he didn’t get caught with it- and she just walked right on in with it..

  41. wow- they actually made girls go through ?!

    what if they were pregnant? they don’t even do this at the airports!! they allow pat downs

  42. Don’t remember that many pregnant girls. Also, we weren’t allowed to bring in snapple or any other drinks in glass bottles.

  43. You were speaking of transitive powers of the skin color or something along those lines, were you not? Surely you are not trying to justify racism or suggest we tolerate anyone who does?

  44. And back to your emotional bias comment… Sounds like you are suggesting that those who are unaffected by the consequences of a policy are more competent in drawing that policy up?

  45. “Here is why this may be happening” and “Here is why this may be justified” are completely different things.

  46. Perhaps the community should look at “why this maybe happening” and then they will change their stance towards the police? And you spoke of resentment earlier… Given how much more likely a black person is to be assaulted or murdered by another black person… Well, sounds like, by your logic, there should be more resentment within the community against the perps in the community than at cops?

  47. Someone qualified to create public policy (based on education and experience) is more competent in drawing up that policy. Input from general public is important, but shouldn’t be decisive. Which is why a lot of mob-driven political decisions end up being wrong in historical light – such as Japanese-American internment, for example.

  48. So where does all this talk about “resentment” and “community reaction” comes in? Emotional bias, much?

  49. My comment was a mere aid to help you follow the path of your own logic that is not being applied across the board, it seems. The community will have to heal itself first before the change in stance will take place.

  50. Subject of discrimination is inherently hard to separate completely from emotion. Still, “frisk ’em all” is exactly the kind of mob-driven politics I was referring to. Community reaction is just one of the factors to be considered; equal protection and unreasonable seizure constitutional issues are more important.

    Courts have ruled that state can implement a policy that is constitutional, even if nobody likes it (taxation), and vice versa, cannot create a policy that is unconstitutional even if a vast majority likes it (Westboro Baptist Church prohibition).

  51. Same conclusion would apply to “audit all Russians” policy I proposed. Sure, the affected community is not going to like it, but it is their own fault (based on this logic) – they have to be more against the fraudsters than against the authorities.

  52. Frisk them all? And quotes, too? Where are you quoting from, Lev? There’s nothing unreasonable about members of a group that commits crimes at a much (much) higher rate to be frisked at a higher rate than other groups. Equal protection? Ok! Let’s distribute all the NYPD resources equally between high and low crime areas. After all, having more cops patrolling Bed Stuy than Sheepshead Bay would be unequal. And if we are to look at the racial make ups of those neighborhoods we can conclude that this policy is pro-black and is anti-Asian/White, since Asians and Whites are not getting a “fair share” of the city’s resources.

    See how that works?

  53. Lev, it’s not about fault, it’s about statistics and what’s more probably. Do you make random choices in life or are they based on probability? Males get charge higher car insurance premiums than females (sexism!), younger males pay even more (agism!), and I dont’ know why you are bringing up russians again and again. Are you suggesting that the law of probability and statisics have caveats when it comes to russians? Are you mentioning your hypothetical policy again and again, because I am Russian? Nice pandering there.

    What are the stats regarding Russians and white collar crime as compared to other groups? I trust you have a link handy.

  54. Note that insurance products are private (not state) enterprise and moreover, driving is a privilege, not a right.

  55. That’s confusing. You said that the “frisk them all” is an example of “mob-driven” politics, yet the lady you were quoting is part of that very community, was she not? Can you clear this up for me? Is this mob you speak off coming from within the community in question? As for “equal protection” – white people get frisked, too.

  56. So if blacks were denied the privilege of driving you would just coolly remind them that “driving is a privilege, not a right.”? As for insurance, yes, it’s private, but one is required to have liability insurance in order to gain the legal privilege of driving in the state of NY. I guess either we repeal that law or we force the insurance companies to charge everybody the same.

    Still waiting on that white collar stats source. Surely you didn’t just dream up the supposed facts about Russians in order to press the whatever the buttons you thought I had to press?

  57. Of course, “mob” doesn’t have to be from the outside.
    The rates at which white people get frisked are exactly the question being raised.

  58. Lev, so this whole resentment from the community notion that you brought up early is clashing against the member of the same community being this mob that you speak of. See the contradiction here? Perhaps the community is not as monolithic as you think it is? All people of color are not the same you know.

    As for the rates, back to my question about NYPD resources. By same token, if differing rates are the issue here, perhaps there needs to be an investigation done why some neighborhoods are getting more police resources than others – perhaps, there’s racism at play here. Equal protection?

  59. Nobody is denying young males the privilege of driving. But, for the record, I’m against insurance mandates of any kind (including driving and healthcare).

  60. A special financial burden is being placed on men and even more so on younger men (compounded by their, usually, lesser financial ability). You can dance around it, but that’s what’s going on, yet nobody’s suing for agism/sexism. I guess racial politics win every time, huh…

  61. This particular “mob” just happens to include the woman that was quoted by NY Post. Just as, I’m sure, there are plenty of black people who love police – no contradiction there. In other words, abolishing police department as a response is just as wrong as searching all black males.

    Rates of “frisk” stops are the question, not police protection by neighborhood – a separate question. By the way, this question has been raised in regards to 61st Precinct here on Sheepshead Bites.

  62. You are also not black, so you can’t be a part of the other suit, but here you are making your opinion known. Yet, you become quite shy when I bring up agism/sexism as far as insurance goes.. What gives?

    …racial politics really do trump everything, huh? 😉

  63. Like I said, it is a separate question, which could be (and has been) legitimately raised. But not the question that we are discussing now.

  64. “Rates of “frisk” stops are the question,” – indeed! You are proposing that statistics (and thus probability) should get no play as far as rates go. I am merely asking for you to be consistent. Should NYPD resources be distributed equally along all neighborhoods, or should the neighborhoods with more crime (uh, oh! statistics!) get more and those with less – get less?

  65. I solicited your opinion and you quickly informed me that you can’t be a part of a lawsuit. Who asked you to be a part of a suit?

  66. You did. You wrote, quote: “yet nobody’s suing for agism/sexism”. Thus my response was: “Well, someone has to do that – might as well be you”.

  67. My question stands. Who asked *you* to be a part of a suit? I was pointing out that using statistics to, ultimately, discriminate against gender and age groups doesn’t seem to be a big deal. I even concluded with “I guess racial politics win every time, huh…” in case my post was not clear.

    It *is* quite interesting that gender/age discrimination doesn’t stir you as much as the racial issues.

  68. “Distribution of NYPD resources” by itself does not engage in constitutionally questionable practices, such as unfair targeting in stop-and-frisk. Even if those resources are very lopsided but actual crime rates (not probabilities) are controlled the same way, there is no problem.

  69. Why not? Doesn’t such maldistribution of government/state/municipal resources whiff of racial preferences?

  70. But it is up to someone specific to make gender/age discrimination in insurance underwriting a big deal. Whoever is complaining is most suitable for that role.

  71. Perhaps. Or perhaps it will get thrown out since statistics and probability are valid and effective tools to use?

  72. Based on the actual crime rates in the precinct. Higher crime rate = more resources. If this would be “more black people = more resources”, it would be discriminatory. But it’s not, so it’s not.

  73. No, not probability. Certain statistics are OK: not racial composition but actual crime rate.

    And for as long the resulting action remains legal.
    As I said:

    “Distribution of NYPD resources” by itself does not engage in constitutionally questionable practices, such as unfair targeting in stop-and-frisk. Even if those resources are very lopsided but actual crime rates (not probabilities) are controlled the same way, there is no problem.

  74. This is not the case where I would predict the outcome – I’ve been disappointed before (such as in that eminent domain case).

  75. Why shouldn’t racial composition be used? Racial statistics play part in many government programs, do they not?

  76. Well, the age/gender discrimination is nothing new and there’s definitely a lot of money to be made in a class action suit against such a behemoth as an insurance company. All of them actually. The motivation is there, but I guess the chance of a success is not – since it hasn’t been tried.

  77. Yep..speculation is always your part……because human nature say’s group mentality of NYPD can’t be corrupted and turn on their own…just like slaves won’t turn on their own back in pre civil war days.

  78. Hmm..looks like you got a dose of your own medicine…someone NOT getting what you are saying..Hmmmmm! Very interesting

  79. Are you analyzing human nature here..because I don’t really think YOU are the person qualified at this point.


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