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531,000 New Yorkers Stopped and Frisked in 2008: Numbers Show Shocking Racial Disparities
the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) responded to new data released to the City Council by the New York City Police Department showing the final total of stop-and-frisks for 2008 to be a record 531,159, over 80% of which were of Black and Latino New Yorkers. The NYPD is required to keep a database of its stop-and-frisks as a result of CCR’s 1999 racial profiling lawsuit filed in the wake of the Amadou Diallo shooting, Daniels v. City of New York.
Police stops-and-frisks without reasonable suspicion violate the Fourth Amendment, and racial profiling is a violation of fundamental rights and protections of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
From 2005 through 2008, approximately 80 percent of total stops made were of Blacks and Latinos, who comprise 25 percent and 28 percent of New York City’s total population, respectively. During this same time period, only approximately 10 percent of stops were of Whites, who comprise 44 percent of the city’s population.
The controversy hit a peak last February when the council revealed that NYPD officers in 2006 stopped more than 508,000 people on the street and questioned them.
A furor of criticism followed, with police accused of routinely stopping blacks and Hispanics without good reason. The number of stops then dropped in the following months and the year ended with about 40,000 less stops than in 2006.
With the economic crisis unrelenting, the United States is stepping up its fight against white collar crime, which has been trumped by the fight on terror.
"Let's give our law enforcement agencies the tools and resources they need, said Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, at a a hearing Wednesday.
"All the ordinary Americans who have suffered the brunt of this (economic crisis) want to know that we're doing everything possible" to combat white collar crime, he added.
In the most sensational case of its kind in years, former Nasdaq stock exchange chairman Bernard Madoff was arrested in early December after allegedly confessing to his two sons and to the FBI that he had run a 50-billion-dollar pyramid fraud known as a Ponzi scheme.
Investors caught in Madoff's alleged fraud include Hollywood celebrities, charities, universities, and major financial institutions including UBS, HSBC, JP Morgan Chase, BNP Paribas and Citigroup.
Over the past few years, the FBI has been steadily beefing up its teams fighting white collar crime -- fraud and corruption that has had disastrous consequences for families and the balance of the financial system.
"After 9/11, we moved almost 2,000 criminal investigative resources over to national security matters, particularly counter-terrorism," FBI Deputy Director John Pistole told Leahy's committee.
"We have been gradually moving those back. And have done that in terms of priority areas, such as this mortgage fraud and the corporate fraud area which is potentially as significant in terms of long-term complex investigations."