Black motorists in New York City were more likely in the first half of 2022 to have their vehicles searched or end up under arrest than any other racial group, according to new city data shared with the Daily News.
When the race or ethnicity of motorists was known, about 4% of black motorists stopped ended up under arrest, the data shows. About 3% of Latinos and 1% of Whites, Asians, and Pacific Islanders who were stopped ended up under arrest.
The percentages were the same for vehicle searches: 4% of blacks stopped had their vehicle searched, compared to 3% of Latinos and 1% of whites, Asians and Pacific Islanders.
Some 8,154 motor vehicle stop arrests resulted in arrests in the first half of 2022, which represents approximately 2% of the total 358,895 stops.
Police have stepped up surveillance of traffic in the city since last winter, the data shows.
The number of stops on highways increased about 3% in the second three months of 2022, according to the data. From April to the end of June, NYPD officers made 182,142 traffic stops, 5,389 more than from January to March, when they made 176,753 traffic stops.
The growing number of vehicle stops worries the New York Civil Liberties Union, which says police need to be more vigilant about being fair in deciding whom to stop.
“Given the long history of police bias in car stops, it is alarming that the number of NYPD vehicle stops is approaching 200,000 every three months,” said NYCLU Legal Director Christopher Dunn. “This staggering number reveals the need for much closer scrutiny of how the NYPD treats drivers.”
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An email to the New York police for comment was not immediately returned.
Black motorists made up 31% of cars stopped in the city in the first six months of 2022 when the drivers’ race became known, the data shows. That’s out of proportion to the city’s population, which the City Planning Department says is about 20% black.
Latino motorists made up about 28% of stopped cars in the first half of 2022. That’s in line with the city’s population, which is also about 28% Latino.
White drivers accounted for 27% of traffic stops, slightly less than 31% of the city’s population. Asians and Pacific Islanders accounted for about 13% of traffic stops, while Asians make up about 16% of the city’s population.
Although black motorists were more likely to be arrested, they were significantly less likely to receive citations.
Some 66% of black motorists stopped ended up with citations, NYPD data shows. About 72% of Whites, 77% of Asians and Pacific Islanders, and 84% of Latinos arrested received citations.
The New York Police Department began releasing quarterly data this year on traffic stops in compliance with a law passed by the City Council in 2021. When the first quarter data was released in May, the department said in a news release that the racing motorists stopped by the police were “roughly proportional to the general racial demographics of the city”.