Contact: Kristine Mikkelsen

NYPD Monitor Report Confirms Racial Bias of Neighborhood Safety Teams

Communities for United Police Reform Reups Demands To Dismantle the Unit

New York, NY - Today, in the latest step in the yearslong lawsuit that found the NYPD’s abuse of stop-and-frisk unconstitutional,  the Court-appointed monitor for the police department released a report documenting widespread constitutional violations by the NYPD’s Neighborhood Safety Teams (NSTs). 

The report documents higher rates of illegal stops by officers in NSTs than other NYPD officers and found that nearly 95% of those stopped by NST officers were Black or Latinx. The report reaffirms, Communities of United Police Reform’s demands to end NYPD violence and misconduct, and calls for an immediate dismantling of NSTs. 

“The racial disparities unearthed by this report make it more clear than ever that the so-called neighborhood safety teams are a failed, regressive, abusive, and discriminatory policing tactic that must be discontinued immediately,” said Anthonine Pierre, Executive Director of the Brooklyn Movement Center and CPR spokesperson. “The NYPD continues to rebrand failed plays from the same abusive playbook and it continues to lead to discrimination and violence, especially in Black, Latinx and other communities of color. In light of this report, the NYPD must immediately dismantle these units and instead invest in real community safety solutions.”

The monitor audited 187 stops by NST officers by looking at the body-worn camera video and reviewing stop reports. The team found that the officers only had reasonable suspicion to conduct the stop in 74% of the cases, meaning one in four stops was illegal. Even more troubling, the monitor found that one out of every three “self-initiated” stops—those where there is no third party complaint—was illegal. Across every category, NSTs made illegal stops at higher rates than other officers. A full 46% of self-initiated stops in search of a weapon—the NSTs stated mission—were illegal. The NYPD continues to perpetuate harm in communities most vulnerable to being harassed and abused by police, and the Mayor fails to take action to hold the NYPD accountable for their abusive, discriminatory and unlawful practices. 

“Anti-crime units rebranded as neighborhood safety teams are not a real solution to creating the safe communities that New Yorkers desire and should be disbanded,” said Samah Sisay Staff Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights and Counsel for Floyd, “These units are almost exclusively deployed into Black and Latinx communities where they are conducting unlawful stops and engaged in the same racial profiling that New Yorkers have been organizing against for decades.”

Plaintiffs in three stop-and-frisk cases – Floyd, Davis, and Ligon – along with CPR, pointed out from the start that the NSTs were simply a repackaging of earlier unconstitutional policing practices. Officers in the Street Crime Unit shot Amadou Diallo in 1999, leading eventually to the disbanding of that unit. And the successor Anti-Crime Unit was disbanded in 2020. We should not have to wait for another tragedy to disband the NSTs in the wake of these findings. 

About Communities United for Police Reform

Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) is an unprecedented campaign to end discriminatory policing practices in New York, and to build a lasting movement that promotes public safety and reduces reliance on policing. CPR runs coalitions of over 200 local, statewide and national organizations, bringing together a movement of community members, lawyers, researchers and activists to work for change. The partners in this campaign come from all 5 boroughs, from all walks of life and represent many of those most unfairly targeted by the NYPD.

Topics: How Many Stops Act Stop-and-Frisk