Feb. 13, 2020 By Kristen Torres
Astoria saw the highest number of stop-and-frisk incidents by police in Queens last year, according to recently released NYPD data.
The 114th precinct in Astoria reported the greatest number of stops of any of the 16 precincts in Queens in 2019, with 242 incidents.
Nearly 2,500 stops took place across Queens in 2019—a 32 percent jump from the 1,848 stop-and-frisks in the borough the year prior.
New York City as a whole saw a 22 percent increase of the controversial practice, with police frisking 13,459 civilians suspected of being armed or carrying contraband in 2019.
The sharp increase in numbers runs counter to the NYPD’s promise to cut back on the practice, which has been shown to unfairly target minorities. At least 90 percent of stops last year involved people of color, according to the data, and 65 percent of stops didn’t result in an arrest or summons.
“This data confirms what we hear from our clients on a daily basis,” said Corey Stoughton of The Legal Aid Society—a social justice law firm in the city.
“Despite court rulings that the City’s practices were unlawful, aggressive stop-and-frisk has made a comeback in New York City,” he added.
The NYPD vowed to scale back its practice after a 2013 federal court ruling deemed it unconstitutional—court officials found that NYPD officers were stopping individuals without reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.
But despite an increase in reported stop-and-frisk incidents, a spokesperson for the NYPD said the numbers are unlikely to represent an increase in stops, but rather a reflection of “more accurate and complete reporting.”
“The Department has enhanced its auditing and compliance metrics as well as developed training to address stops and proper reporting,” a NYPD spokesperson said.
Officials with the department also pointed to the reduction in stops from an all-time high of 685,000 in 2011 under then-mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Staten Island saw the largest increase of stop-and-frisks out of all five boroughs, according to the Legal Aid Society, with a 51 percent increase from 2018.
The police precinct in East New York, Brooklyn, however, had the highest amount of stop-and-frisks incidents overall, with 495 suspects searched, according to the data.