Federal monitor: NYPD officers are engaging in unconstitutional policing with the’stop and Frisk’ initiative.

Too many people have been stopped and frisked by NYPD officers according to Monitor Mylan Denerstein. The "stop and frisk" initiative was introduced to combat gun violence.

  • Mylan Denerstein is a federally-appointed court monitor who conducted an evaluation of the effectiveness and efficiency of a NYPD initiative which uses the “stop-and-frisk” method.

  • As part of an initiative in New York to combat gun violence, the tactic “stop and Frisk” is employed. The monitor concluded that the initiative hurts communities of colour.

  • According to reports, Mayor Eric Adams has “serious reservations” about Denerstein’s method and was unaware of her findings before news outlets published them.

New York City ‘s use of “stop and frisk,” as part of its new initiative to fight gun violence, is harming communities and breaking the law.

Mylan Denerstein, a monitor with the NYPD’s Neighborhood Security Teams — special teams deployed over the past 14-months to seize weapons in high-crime zones — said that the NYPD was engaging in “unconstitutional police work” by stopping too many people and frisking them without any justification.

Denerstein reported that only 41 percent, 32 percent, and 26 percent, respectively, of the stops, frisks, and searches in one police precinct were legal.

The Neighborhood Safety Teams are a replacement to the anti-crime unit that the NYPD will disband in 2021. They operate in 34 communities that account for 80 percent of violent crimes in the city, which is largely made up of people of color. Denerstein stated that 97% of the people stopped by the Neighborhood Safety Teams are Black or Hispanic.


A spokesperson for Mayor Eric Adams stated that city officials “have grave concerns” about Denerstein’s method and they only found out of her findings when news outlets reported them.

Since the Neighborhood Safety Teams have been created, Fabien levy, the spokesperson, has said that shootings are down.

NYPD officers patrol Rockefeller Center and the surrounding area in New York City, December 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File))

Levy stated that officers assigned to these units have “improved training and oversight” to ensure they are protecting civil liberties and keeping New Yorkers safe. “Any unconstitutional stops is unacceptable and we will strive for better results every day for New Yorkers.”


Denerstein stated that she started her review in March 2022, after Adams announced the NYPD would be deploying Neighborhood Safety Teams to some precincts in order to combat gun violence. The team members drive unmarked cars and wear modified uniforms to conduct searches, stops and frisks in their assigned neighborhood.

Denerstein writes: “Unfortunately the results are disappointing.”

In spite of their training and expertise, officers assigned Neighborhood Safety Teams appear to stop, frisk and search individuals with an unsatisfactory degree of compliance. “Too many people are frisked and searched illegally.”

A federal judge ruled in 2013 that stop and frisk was a violation of the civil rights for Black and Hispanic New Yorkers. This practice was used to remove guns and drugs from the streets by stopping and searching individuals on the street.

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Shira Scheindlin, a U.S. district judge, ruled that the stops constituted indirect racial profile. Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg apologized after he once championed the tactic.

The department reported a dramatic drop in the number of stops since the ruling. It reports an average of 11,730 stops per year between 2016 and 2022, down from a peak of almost 686,000 in 2011.

According to NYPD statistics, the New York Civil Liberties Union, the vast majority (89%) of stops will be made in 2022 against black and Hispanic individuals.

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