Yesterday, officials announced that Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has hired the Rand Corp.—which is also studying the NYPD’s firearm training and firearm discharge review process in the wake of the Sean Bell shooting—to examine the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk tactics. The company has been awarded a $120,000 contract to conduct a six-month assessment, to be paid for by the Police Foundation, a charitable group that underwrites police causes.
Earlier this month, the NYPD released the results of more than 500,000 stop-and-frisks last year: almost 80 percent of the people stopped were black or Hispanic. The number of situations in which police stopped and sometimes frisked people in New York City increased more than fivefold compared to 2002, according to data released to the City Council last month. But the department denies any racial profiling, saying the increase in stops is due to more attentive police work—specifically, paying closer attention to witnesses’ descriptions.
Rand analysts will have access to the actual forms police officers fill out after a stop-and-frisk. Each form has 28 reasons that a cop may use to accurately describe why a person was stopped, including "Furtive Actions" and "Fits a Relevant Description." Rand analysts will also have permission to participate in “ride alongs,” so that they may see if there is a disparity between what actually happened and what the form claims happened.