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Monday, July 12, 2010

Over 4 Years, Nearly 52,000 Police Stops in a Few Brooklyn Blocks - NYTimes.com

Over 4 Years, Nearly 52,000 Police Stops in a Few Brooklyn Blocks - NYTimes.com

When night falls, police officers blanket some eight odd blocks of Brownsville, Brooklyn. Squad cars with flashing lights cruise along the main avenues: Livonia to Powell to Sutter to Rockaway. And again.

On the inner streets, dozens of officers, many fresh out of the police academy, walk in pairs or linger on corners. Others, deeper within the urban grid, navigate a maze of public housing complexes, patrolling the stairwells and hallways.

This small army of officers, night after night, spends much of its energy pursuing the controversial Police Department tactic known as “Stop, Question, Frisk,” and it does so at a rate unmatched anywhere else in the city.

The officers stop people they think might be carrying guns; they stop and question people who merely enter the public housing project buildings without a key; they ask for identification from, and run warrant checks on, young people halted for riding bicycles on the sidewalk.

One night, 20 officers surrounded a man outside the Brownsville Houses after he would not let an officer smell the contents of his orange juice container. More...


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