Crimes and Misdemeanors

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Photo: Getty Images


Today's metro-crime headline is that Eliot Spitzer wants to close some prisons, at least in part, because declining crime rates have led to a smaller inmate population. But Saturday's metro-crime headline was quite different: Seems the NYPD's stopping and frisking New Yorkers in unprecedented numbers these days — five times more people were stopped last year than in 2002 — and that those stops, overwhelmingly of black New Yorkers, are leading to more arrests and summonses. Some numbers:

Number of people stopped and frisked by the NYPD last year: 508,540
Number of people stopped and frisked by the NYPD in 2002: 97,296
Average number stopped per day in 2006: 1,393
Average number stopped per day in 2002: 266

Number of people arrested last year because of these stops: 21,268
Number of people arrested in 2002 because of these stops: 11,276
Number of summonses issued last year because of these stops: 29,168
Number of summonses issued in 2002 because of these stops: 1,461

Percentage of people stopped by the NYPD last year who were black: 55.2
Percentage of people stopped by the NYPD last year who were Hispanic: 30.5
Percentage of people stopped by the NYPD last year who were white: 11.1

Percentage of suspects described by victims or witnesses last year as black: 68.5
Percentage of suspects described by victims or witnesses last year as Hispanic: 24.5
Percentage of suspects described by victims or witnesses last year as white: 5.3

New York State's prison population last year: About 63,000
New York State's prison population in 1999 (its peak): More than 71,000

Number of People Stopped by New York Police Soars [NYT]
Spitzer Seeks Panel to Study Prison Closings [NYT]