•  
  •  
 

Abstract

This article explores patterns of police "stop and frisk" activity across New York City neighborhoods. While “Broken Windows” theory may account for higher stop and frisk activity for “quality of life” crimes, the authors suggest neighborhood characteristics like racial composition, poverty levels, and extent of social disorganization are strong predictors of race- and crime-specific stops. The authors consider whether street-stops in various neighborhoods comply with the Terry standard of reasonable suspicion as insight into the social and strategic meaning of policing. Their empirical evidence suggests policing focuses on policing poor people in poor places. Their strategy departs from "Broken Windows" theory by concentrating on people and not disorder. They suggest racially disparate police targeting raises concern about legitimacy of law, weakens citizen cooperation with police, and undermines the social goals of policing.

Share

COinS
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.