NYPD Says Stop-And-Frisk Complaints Rarely About Race

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NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 27:  Members of the New York Police Department (NYPD) take part in a promotion ceremony attended by New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly at Police Headquarters on January 27, 2012 in New York City. Kelly appeared in the film "The Third Jihad" Muslim groups are asking him to step down, saying that the film they depicts Islam and its followers in a bad light. The film was shown to hundreds and maybe thousands of NYPD officers for training purposes. Commissioner Kelly refused to answer questions relating to rape allegations involving his son, TV host Greg Kelly.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images2012 Getty Images

Over the course of the stop-and-frisk trial, the NYPD has been making a case that the very issue the trial centers on, that officers unfairly target minorities for street stops based on race, doesn't really come up. Former chief Joseph Esposito testified to that effect last month, telling Judge Shira Scheindlin, "we don’t get complaints about it." And as the New York Times noted on Sunday, a series of commanders have made similar claims, "leading city lawyers to suggest that racial profiling is largely a fiction created by the civil rights lawyers who brought the case." Lawyers for the plaintiffs want to show the police are ignoring people's implied profiling complaints, such as the person who asked during a stop, "why don't you stop other people?" But the lieutenant who made the stop said it was impossible to infer the meaning behind that because, "I don’t know why he was angry."