A new study by the Vera Institute of Justice confirms what may seem like an obvious truth: people who have been stopped and frisked and live in areas with a high police presence generally distrust the NYPD. According to the Daily News, the study found that “for every additional time someone was stopped, that person was 8% less likely to report a violent crime.”
The 500 survey respondents lived in Bed-Stuy, East New York, Jamaica, East Harlem, and the South Bronx, and all had been stopped at least once. Nearly half of the participants said the cops used force on them, and 85% said they were innocent and were eventually let go (a number that, as the News notes, is supported by NYPD’s own stats). Three quarters of the respondents said they wouldn’t go to the cops to report a crime, and 59% maintained that stance even if they were the crimes victims.
It boils down to this: not only is stop-and-frisk unconstitutional, not only is it an ineffective method for stopping violent crime, it may actually make it more difficult for police to find violent criminals due to (justifiably) uncooperative members of the community.
“Our main finding is pretty plain and simple,” said Jennifer Fratello of the Vera Institute. “Stop-and-frisk is compromising the trust needed for public safety.”