Jackson Heights Latinos Disproportionately Stopped-and-Frisked

By Paul DeBenedetto on February 11, 2013 5:14pm 

 Cops frisk two men in stop-and-frisk training in the Bronx.  
Cops frisk two men in stop-and-frisk training in the Bronx.  
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New York Daily News Archive/Getty Images

QUEENS — The number of Latinos in the 115th Precinct targeted by the NYPD's stop-and-frisk program was more than three times the number of Latino suspects there in 2011, a new report from the NYPD shows.

Statistics released by the NYPD show that the 115th Precinct, which encompasses Jackson Heights, East Elmhurst and part of Corona, also had the third-most stops overall in the entire city that year and the largest number of stops in Queens.

In some ways, this is unsurprising: Latinos make up more than 65 percent of the precinct, according to Census data for 2010. And they make up 73.4 percent of all known crime suspects in the precinct, according to the NYPD.

But a closer look at the numbers indicates a stark divide between the number of Latino suspects and the number of Latino people stopped.

In 2011, there were 4,170 "known suspects" of Latino origin — 73.4 percent of the total number of known suspects. By contrast, Latinos were stopped 14,585 times, making up 83.9 percent of persons stopped in the precinct.

Latinos were also stopped at higher rates than other races in the 115th Precinct:  Blacks make up 13.8 percent of the "known suspects," but comprise 8.9 percent of people stopped.  Asians make up 5.3 percent of the "known suspects," but account for 3.5 percent of the stops.

Whites — 7.5 percent of the "known suspects" — make up just 3.8 percent of the people stopped, according to the report.

"While it appears at first blush to be a slick, fact-filled response," NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman said in an emailed statement, "nothing in the NYPD report can dispute the reality that stop and frisk NYPD-style is targeted overwhelmingly at people of color, so innocent of any criminal wrongdoing, that all but 12 percent walk away without so much as a ticket."

It was not immediately clear how many stops in the 115th Precinct led to arrests.

Last year, local immigrant group Make the Road New York attacked the NYPD for what they called discriminatory practices against LGBT people in Jackson Heights, many of whom are Latino.

“If you present differently, then you’re going to be on that list," Colette Carter, co-director of the Audre Lorde Project, a center for LGBT people of color, said at the time. "It puts them right at the top of the pool, along with, of course, black and Latino men.”

In October, an informal study released by Make the Road indicated high levels of stops against the neighborhood's transgender community.

It was not clear from the NYPD data how many of the Latinos stopped were transgender.

The 115th Precinct did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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