Views of NYC’s Stop-And-Frisk Operations

To be easy and comfortable appears to be the aim of all man: even at the expense of the other feller.

All About H. Hatterr – G.V. Desani

The “views” of the title needs, perhaps, a soupçon of explanation. To many, statistics are ‘facts’ — final, indisputable and immutable. That is implied in the posture of many “experts” who cite them. The reality is that, especially in the social sciences (and medicine), statistics rests on the tabulation of lived experience. Literally. The observer, the observed, and “observations”. There is a widespread, shared fiction that the observations are somehow “neutral” to observer and observed. The existence of an entire law-suit industry built around the side-effects of pharmaceutical drugs says the observer’s reading of the observations were lacking, from the point of view of outcomes to the observed, the patient. Here then are some “views” of NYC’s stop-and-frisk data from 2003 to 2016:

The Center for Constitutional Rights filed a class action suit in federal court against New York City alleging, primarily, racial profiling in the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk program. The sharp drop from 2011 to 2013 in the graph above coincides with initial rulings in the latter half of 2011 that went against the city. The court ruled against the city in August 2013 and appointed a federal monitor to oversee changes to the program. The city appealed. In the mayoral election of 2013, then candidate Bill de Blasio ran on a platform vowing to end stop-and-frisk. He went on to win the election in November and the sharper percentage drop in 2014 reflects this change in Mayoral/city policy.

The following graphic excludes a relatively small number of cases where age is listed as less than 10 or over 60.

NYC’s Stop And Frisk Operations, Grouped By Ages 10 to 60

NYPD reports White-Hispanic and Black-Hispanic as sub categories of race. The US Census Bureau, counter-intuitively, reports Hispanic as a culturally distinct ethnicity, not a subcategory of race. The graphics below follow the NYPD / NYC convention of Hispanic (black or white) as a racial category, but with different combinations of Black, Black-Hispanic and White-Hispanic.

All stop-and-frisk data is from the NYPD via NYC’s Open Data portal.

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