NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Police Commissioner Ray Kelly defends the use of stop-and-frisk as a crime-fighting tool even as new data shows that the number of stops in New York City over recent months fell to levels not seen in nearly 10 years.
As WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported, as crime numbers kept dropping from the second quarter of 2012 to the second quarter of this year, so did the number of people stopped, questioned and frisked by police.
Data from the city showed there were 57 percent fewer stops and frisks in that time.
Kelly said the statistics do not undermine the administration’s assertion that stop-and-frisk has helped drive down violent crime.
“No, no. I mean, this is a long-term issue. There’s not right number for stops. It is what it is,” the police commissioner told Silverman.
Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled earlier this month that the police department violated the civil rights of minorities with the controversial policy. She ordered an outside monitor to oversee major changes to the policy.
The city on Tuesday asked the judge to hold off on implementing her ruling until their appeal is decided.
Kelly said he doesn’t anticipate that officers will be more hesitant to carry out stops and frisks, even as the appeals process continues. He pointed to an arrest on Wednesday night in Brooklyn where officers noticed a man adjusting his waistband.
“Went over to him, he started to run, he took out a gun and threw it under a bench and he was arrested. So I don’t see any lack of vigor,” said Kelly.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other officials have credited the policy in part for a dramatic drop in the homicide rate. The city currently averages one homicide a day, compared to six in 1990.
Bloomberg and Kelly have repeatedly blasted those who say the police force engages in racial profiling while carrying out the stop-and-frisk policy.
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