Panelists at the November 3 NYU Law Forum debated the New York City Police Department’s intensive use of stop-and-frisk, which is part of a broader policy of active policing intended to keep crime rates down and streets safe. Proponents of the policy argue it has been extremely successful in its crime-reducing goals. Critics question this, and point as well to the dramatic racial effects of the policy as it is executed. Data released by the NYPD for 2009 show 575,000 pedestrian stops—of these, for example, 55% involved African-Americans, though African-Americans make up only 23% of the city’s population. The NYPD policy is of great local concern, but debates over this policy also touch on much broader national and international questions involving racial profiling and “community policing.” Panelists at the Forum, titled, “What are the Consequences of Aggressive Policing?: The NYPD’s Stop-and-Frisk Record,” were Andy Schaffer, an adjunct professor at the Law School; Dennis Parker, director of the Racial Justice Program at the American Civil Liberties Union; and Heather MacDonald, a John M. Olin Fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Barry Friedman, Jacob D. Fuchsberg Professor of Law, moderated the discussion.

Watch the full discussion (1 hr 13 min):

Posted November 8, 2010