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Tuesday’s Headlines: How Many Stops Edition

It's a good thing Council Member Yusef Salaam ran into a seemingly mild-mannered cop, data shows. Plus other news.

Council Member Yusef Salaam said police stops have a racial component. The stats show he’s right.

It's a good thing Council Member Yusef Salaam ran into a seemingly mild-mannered cop when he got pulled over on Friday night — because statistics show that NYPD vehicle stops escalate to violence a lot more frequently if there is black skin on the driver.

We don't want to rehash the whole Stop Heard Round the World, which was the basis of our Monday headline post, but the NYPD officer's decision to stop Salaam's car — with its illegally tinted windows and its illegal out-of-state plate — gave us another chance to look at just how fairly the NYPD metes out justice on the roads.

Hint: Not so well.

In the third quarter of 2023 — the last quarter for which the NYPD has provided statistics — Black drivers are stopped, arrested, searched and roughed up at rates far above their portion of the population. So while white people, who comprise about 31 percent of the New York City population, have force used against them in just 5 percent of stops, Black people, who comprise 20 percent of the population, have forced used against them in 58 percent of vehicle stops.

When you add in Hispanic drivers, 90 percent of the time that cops use force against people they've stopped, it's against people of color.

We made a chart:

Those numbers are pretty similar to findings of the NYCLU after it crunched the NYPD data for January 2022 through June 2023 (and also calculated the percentages of New York City households that have access to a car, which we've re-created in the "driver share" category).

We tried to bounce those numbers of Salaam and the NYPD, but heard only crickets (meanwhile, the Post amplified the limited calls for Salaam to resign his chairmanship of the Public Safety Committee). But the news is more relevant than ever, what with the City Council about to over-ride Mayor Adams's veto of the so-called "How Many Stops" act, which would require cops to record information on many more stops than they currently do. (The Daily News, PoliticsNY, amNY, The City and the Post previewed the over-ride vote). The Post and Gothamist also covered the police union's worry that cops won't be allowed to go with "their gut." Um, isn't that the problem?

In other news:

  • The MTA is trying something to block the "superhighway" of fare evasion. (amNY, Gothamist)
  • Curbed discovered what most people welcome but some had feared: Open streets like Jackson Heights's 34th Avenue make neighborhoods much nicer and, alas, more expensive.
  • Remember that F train derailment? It was caused by misaligned track. (NYDN)
  • Congress is acting fast on lithium-ion batteries. (The City)
  • Drop til they shop: The MTA needs to do a better job of renting out its retail spaces. (The City)
  • Post catnip: Brad Lander got a speeding ticket.
  • Hell Gate looked at the idea of a Chinatown "welcome arch."
  • State Sen. Andrew Gounardes followed our coverage of efforts to reauthorize the city's red light cameras with his own amNY op-ed.
  • Assaults on the subway are up. (Gothamist)
  • And, finally, in case you missed it, Julie Tighe slammed NJ Gov. Phil Murphy in a pro-congestion pricing op-ed. (NYDN)

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