NEW YORK — More stop, question and frisk encounters were recorded in the first three months of 2022 than in nearly three years, new NYPD data shows.
The 3,689 reported stop-question-and-frisks likely do not tell the full story, given a recent report by the NYPD federal monitor that found many such incidents remain underreported.
The monitor found that 29% of the police incidents it analyzed — such as arrests and encounters with body-worn camera footage — were not documented with a stop-question-and-frisk report.
But the NYPD said officers are better trained, as the monitor has found more stops to be legally justified and more of them to be both properly documented and resulting in an arrest made or summons issued.
“We have focused our efforts where the violence is occurring and we have seen that in about 15% of our stops, we are recovering some kind of weapon and half of those are guns,” said Deputy Commissioner John Miller, the NYPD’s top spokesman.
“We are trying to do this the right way,” said Miller. “And we are trying so we can reduce the number of weapons on the street and the violence that comes from that.”
The 3,689 stops recorded in the first three months of 2022 are 19% more than the 3,090 in the last three months of 2021.
The stops recorded in the last part of 2021 were a big jump over the number of stops recorded earlier in that year — and they came during a stretch of time when mayoral candidate Eric Adams became Mayor-elect Adams.
During that period, Adams explained his support of stop-and-frisk and in a November Daily News op-ed that raised concern among police watchdogs. He wrote that “if used properly, it could reduce crime without infringing on personal liberties and human rights.”
In a statement to The News, Adams reiterated his support of the stop-question-and-frisk, tying it to public safety.
“The NYPD is among the most monitored and regulated government agencies in the nation,” he said, “and we will continue to ensure that our officers conduct their stops legally and properly, make a record of it, and get guns off our streets.”
The number of stop-question-and-frisk reported so far this year are far below levels of a decade ago. Number-crunchers counted close to 685,000 such stops in 2011.
But nearly nine years after a federal judge blasted the NYPD’s use of the tactic as unconstitutional — saying cops racially profiled young Black and Hispanic men in making the stops — critics worry that the data this year shows police are moving in the wrong direction.
“We expect this increase to mark the beginning of much more stop-and-frisk under the Adams administration,” said Christopher Dunn, Legal Director for the New York Civil Liberties Union. “With the pandemic receding and the summer coming, we’re very concerned about an abrupt return to aggressive, race-based police stops.”
As happened in 2011 — and in other years when stops totaled hundreds of thousands — Blacks and Latinos were stopped and questioned the most. They made up 89% of those stopped in the first three months of 2022.
But the monitor has noted a continued increase in legally justified stops, as well as legally justified frisks.
It’s not clear what effect the stops are having on crime.
Shootings are down 10% so far this year, with 502 shooting incidents in 2022 through May 29, compared to 558 incidents in the same period of 2021.
But serious crime is up 38% in 2022 through May 29, led by a 51% jump in grand larcenies and a 39% bump in robberies.
And on some city streets, citizens might not be noticing a difference yet.
Officers from the 46th Precinct, which covers several Bronx neighborhoods, including Fordham, University Heights and Morris Heights, recorded 201 stop-question-and-frisks in in the first three months of 2022, the most in the city.
However, crime in the 46th Precinct is up 14% this year — and shootings have barely budged, with 15 reported in 2022 through May 29, compared to 14 in the same period of 2021.
(Daily News staff writer Michael Gartland contributed.)