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.