Two weeks ago, a US district judge ruled the New York City Police Department’s (NYPD) “stop-and-frisk” method is unconstitutional. Judge Shira Scheindlin said that police “adopted a policy of ‘indirect racial profiling’… resulting in the disproportionate discriminatory stopping of tens of thousands of blacks and Hispanics.”

Opponents of the controversial practice have long said that the method violates Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights, which protect against unreasonable search and seizure and ensure equal protection for all citizens.

Now, students from the Columbia University School of Journalism have created a set of maps, using geolocation data from the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), to provide a visual representation of New York’s police stops during 2012. The students mapped each of the 532,911 police stops, depicting each as a dot on the map.

Nearly nine out of ten stopped-and-frisked New Yorkers have been completely innocent, according to NYPD reports. The maps show that Brooklyn and Bronx neighborhoods had more police stops than others.

Interestingly, the second map students produced is color-coded and broken down by race. While “stop-and-frisk” disproportionately targeted black and Hispanic citizens, the map shows extensive stops of white New Yorkers as well.

Data from the NYCLU shows that of the 532,911 police stops conducted last year, 89 percent were “totally innocent.” Of the total, 55 percent of individuals stopped were black, 32 percent Latino, and 10 percent white.

NY Federal Judge Rules ‘Stop-and-Frisk’ Violates Constitutional Rights

Stop-and-Frisk map - Black and white











Stop-and-Frisk map - Color











Source: The Atlantic

Map Key:

Race: Color; Black: Blue, Black Hispanic: Black, White Hispanic: Orange, White: Red, Asian/ Pacific Islander: Green, American Indian/ Native Alaskan: Yellow


Alisha is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. Follow her on Twitter @childoftheearth.