Newark, NJ is aiming to take New York City’s reputation away as the Stop & Frisk capital. In a recent report released by the American Civil Liberties Union of NJ, it’s revealed that stop and frisk is more than 10 times as common in Newark as it is in New York City.
According to WNYC, whereas the NYPD stopped eight out of every 1000 residents, Newark has upped the ante by stopping 91 out of 1000. In a city where 75 percent of its residents are black, it seems as though racial profiling is the root of the issue.
What’s also interesting is that out of all of those stop and frisks, only 25 percent ended up receiving a summons or being arrested. Can you say, “all for naught”?
“Several disturbing patterns have emerged that raise constitutional red flags about the Newark Police Department’s stop-and-frisk practices,” said Udi Ofer, ACLU-NJ’s executive director, in a statement. “Specifically, our report raises concerns about the high volume of stops, racial disparities in who is getting stopped and the fact that the vast majority of stops appear to be of innocent people.”
“The U.S. Supreme Court made clear decades ago that under our Constitution, police are permitted to stop people only if they have individualized and reasonable suspicion of a crime,” said ACLU-NJ Public Policy Director Ari Rosmarin. “When 75 percent of those stopped in Newark are innocent of any wrongdoing, it raises significant questions about what criteria officers are using when deciding to make a stop.”
The ACLU-NJ commends former Police Director Samuel DeMaio and former Mayor Cory Booker for making the police department more transparent and accountable to the public by releasing stop-and-frisk data to the public. The police department adopted the groundbreaking Transparency Policy in July 2013.
“Once fully implemented, the Newark Police Department’s transparency data policy will be a model for other law enforcement agencies in New Jersey and across the country,” said Rosmarin. “We look forward to continuing to work with the department and Acting Director Sheila Coley to ensure Newarkers have access to the comprehensive data and to address the concerns raised in our report.”
A report from the From The New York Times did point out that it’s difficult to draw conclusions from the ACLU findings, since Newark has a much higher crime rate. But I’m quite sure this information will give the Justice Department more ammunition for their ongoing investigation of the Newark Police Department.