ACLU Analysis of D.C. Stop-and-Frisk Data Reveals Ineffective Policing, Troubling Racial Disparities

June 16, 2020 1:00 pm

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WASHINGTON — An ACLU and ACLU of the District of Columbia analysis of the most recent stop-and-frisk data collected by the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) has revealed that Black people compose 72% of those stopped in the District despite making up 46% of the D.C. population. The report analyzed MPD data collected between July 22, 2019 and December 31, 2019, yielding data on over 62,000 stops, or approximately one stop every four minutes during the five-month period.

The report found that:

  • Only 0.8% of all stops, and only 2% of non-traffic stops, led to the seizure of any weapon, including guns
  • The vast majority of people who experienced the least justifiable subset of stops were Black. For example, MPD officers made 11,045 stops that did not end in a warning, ticket, or arrest, a category that almost certainly includes stops of people who were engaged in innocent conduct. Of the people who experienced these stops, 86% were of Black people. And of the people who were searched during one of these stops, 91% were Black.
  • Black youths made up 89% of the people under 18 who were stopped and were stopped at 10 times the rate of their white peers.

Despite the large number of stops, the mayor’s own report noted that violent crimes increased 4% over the five-month period.

“Our analysis shows that MPD’s stop practices are highly ineffective and potentially violate the constitutional rights of Black people in the District on a daily basis,” said Monica Hopkins, Executive Director, ACLU of the District of Columbia. “This is unacceptable. The D.C. Council must reject Mayor Bowser’s requested $18.5 million increase to MPD’s budget for FY2021, and invest those funds in programs that are proven to enhance public safety such violence prevention and intervention efforts.”

The full report is available here:

This press release can be found here:

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