The NYPD’s stop-and-frisk tactics came under fire after news emerged that police stops in New York City increased by more than half a million between 2003 and 2011, and that New York officers conducted more stops of young black men in 2011 than there are young black men in the city. A significant proportion of NYPD stops, 10 to 15 percent, occur at public housing facilities, where police can arrest someone who they believe does not live at the housing project and is not a guest.
After receiving numerous complaints from defense attorneys about trespass arrests, Jeanette Rucker of the Bronx DA’s office conducted an investigation that yielded disturbing results. The New York Times explains:
[S]he found that “in many (but not all) of the cases the defendants arrested were either legitimate tenants or invited guests,” she wrote.
In some cases, Ms. Rucker claimed, the police arrested people even when there was persuasive evidence that they were not trespassing, citing “several instances where defendants who were guests, had the person whom they were visiting verify this fact to the arresting officer, yet the defendant was arrested anyway.” In those cases, the deposition from the arresting officer “indicated the defendant did not know the name of any tenant or the apartment number.”
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