Skip to Content
Morning Spew

NYC Policing by the Numbers: Yep, Still Racist

And more stories to ponder at the beginning of the week.

A 2020 protest on the streets of Brooklyn.

Photo: Eden, Janine, and Jim / Flickr

After the 2020 police killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, New Yorkers took to the streets to demand more accountability and transparency from the police. In the following weeks and months, state lawmakers pushed through a series of modest reforms. The state legislature repealed a provision that shielded police personnel files from scrutiny, and the governor issued an executive order that referenced the "long and painful history in New York State of discrimination and mistreatment of Black and African American citizens," and required police departments to open their books and collaborate on studies of their policies and practices, in the hope that this would spur reforms.  

On Monday, New York City's first study to come out of this Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative was released. The report, issued by the Data Collaborative for Justice at CUNY's John Jay School, examined pedestrian stops, desk appearance tickets, arrests, and prosecutions from 2013 through 2022. The data shows how enforcement activity decreased dramatically following the landmark stop-and-frisk ruling in 2013 and decisions from the City's district attorneys to stop prosecuting many low-level offenses, which coincided with a decrease in overall crime. Now, in the era of Eric Adams, those numbers are ticking up again. The stark racial disparities remain, and in some cases are getting worse.

From 2013 to 2021, pedestrian stops by the NYPD decreased by 92 percent, from 191,851 to 8,947. But in 2022, the first year Adams was in office, stops surged by 69 percent, up to 15,102. While Black and Latine New Yorkers make up 52 percent of the city's population, they represented 88 percent of the people stopped by the cops in 2022, with Black New Yorkers representing nearly 60 percent of all stops. Data from 2023 shows that police stops have continued to increase, with no signs that the NYPD has done anything to mitigate these racial disparities. 

The story is similar for misdemeanor arrests. According to the report, Black New Yorkers were 6.1 times more likely than white New Yorkers to be arrested for a misdemeanor in 2022.

"We have clearly reached a new era from the unconstitutional mass stops of the Bloomberg administration," Michael Rempel, the director of the Data Collaborative for Justice and one of the report's authors, said in a release. "Yet, even as annual stops plummeted since their peak in 2011, the 69 percent jump from 2021 to 2022 and a coinciding rise in racial disparities give pause—especially in the context of the City’s 2021 police reform plan, which expressly sought to limit unnecessary policing in Black and Brown communities."

Stephen Koppel, the senior research associate for the group, called the report's results a "mixed bag." 

"Overall, the rate of enforcement fell substantially for all racial and ethnic groups," Koppel said in a statement. "However, because the declines were uneven, with the sharpest drops seen for white individuals, racial disparities tended to worsen during this time."

To better understand how racial disparities persist in police stops, the City Council recently passed the How Many Stops Act, which would require officers to keep better data on who they stop and why. Adams vetoed the bill then launched a last-minute PR campaign to discredit it. The council later overrode his veto.

More links to start your Monday:

  • New Jersey is abuzz with the news that the state's attorney general believes that the current "party line" system—where Democratic parties on a county level decide to boost a candidate's chances by pushing their name to a prominent place on the ballot—is unconstitutional. This has huge implications for the state's rich tradition of patronage and dirty tricks and also Governor Phil Murphy's wife Tammy, who is running for a U.S. Senate seat and garnered that "party line." 
  • On Friday, the Adams administration, the Hochul administration, and the advocates for New Yorkers experiencing homelessness reached a settlement over the City's attempt to dismantle the state's right-to-shelter law when it comes to housing asylum seekers. RIP right to shelter, at least for adult migrants. 
  • "It is unclear who gave the order to tear down Chevra Anshei Lubawitz, which stood on 12th Avenue in Borough Park since 1907."
  • After Thursday's shooting at the Hoyt-Schemerhorn station, passengers say they had to flee single-file because an emergency exit had been locked (the MTA claims they have no record that this door was locked).
  • "The Disastrous 'Great Israeli Real Estate Event'"
  • Immediately after the Times published this delicious story about a downtown Manhattan "chameleon" and managing partner of Superiority Burger who apparently fleeced lots of people out of lots of money, the restaurant announced it was paying workers back tips that it owed them.
  • YIMBYs have overrun Manhattan's CB 5 and people are pissed about it.
  • The City Council is formally weighing whether to discipline Republican member Inna Vernikov for flashing her weapon at a protest at Brooklyn College last year.
  • A 61-year-old Brooklyn man died after being punched by a tow truck driver who was towing his car, and the NYPD has classified his death as a homicide. 
  • Goodbye Spuyten Duyvil, I could never hear a goddamned thing in your packed, cavernous bar.
  • Hello private spaghetti clubs for the richest of the rich.
  • Hundreds of assholes in Bensonhurst protested a homeless shelter.
  • Confused by the state budget process? New York Focus has you covered.
  • What are we paying the cops in the subway for, again?
  • An update on the "Chabad tunnel mayhem."
  • And finally: What in the actual fuck.

Top image credit: Eden, Janine, and Jim / Flickr.

Already a user?Log in

Thanks for reading!

Give us your email address to keep reading two more articles for free

See all subscription options

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Hell Gate

See all posts