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NYPD anti-crime units still stopping people illegally: report

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-06-07 09:44
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NEW YORK -- The anti-crime units of New York Police Department (NYPD) are still stopping, frisking and searching too many people unlawfully, almost all of them people of color, despite assurances from Mayor Eric Adams that new policies and training would end the practice, The New York Times (NYT) on Monday cited a new report by a court-appointed monitor.

The monitor, Mylan L. Denerstein, filed a report in federal court in Manhattan on Monday detailing what she described as unlawful policing. Denerstein, whose position was created in 2013 after a court ruled the police department's use of stop and frisk was unconstitutional, is assigned to oversee the units, which have a history of targeting Black and Hispanic people.

Almost all of the stops made by the rebranded "neighborhood safety teams" analyzed in the report -- 97 percent -- were of Black or Hispanic people, and 24 percent of the stops were unconstitutional. Of 230 car stops included in the sample, only two appear to have turned up weapons, the report said.

Police and city officials took issue with the report's conclusions and said the units had been effective both in keeping interactions with the public lawful and in reducing killings. There were 433 homicides last year, a roughly 11 percent drop from 2021 and the fewest since 2019. Also last year, the city saw a surge in gun arrests, with 4,627, the most in nearly three decades.

"Many New Yorkers opposed reviving the anti-crime units, whose officers often patrol in unmarked cars looking for people who they believe are behaving suspiciously, rather than responding in a routine manner to 911 calls," noted the report.

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