ABSTRACT

According to the records of the New York City police department, between 2008 and 2009, 1,121,470 New Yorkers were stopped. Of these stops, 37% (or 416,350) were targeted at youth between the ages of 14 and 21 (Stoudt, Fine, & Fox, 2011). Community anecdotes confirm that an untold number of such stops occur without ever being recorded in official statistics. Community members tell the story of unmarked cars that “roll-up” in neighborhoods designated as “high crime;” often, plainclothes officers emerge from such vehicles, and young Black or Latino men “assume the position” against walls and on hoods of cars and are “patted down” en masse or are ordered to empty their pockets or backpacks. If nothing illegal is found, which departmental statistics confirm is often the case, the young men are allowed to continue along their way. The officers return to their cars. No forms are filled out.