Pubdate: Thu, 23 May 2013
Source: New York Daily News (NY)
Copyright: 2013 Daily News, L.P.
Author: Rocco Parascandola


MARIJUANA possession was the top offense among those arrested after 
police stopped and questioned them last year, the New York Civil 
Liberties Union said Wednesday.

Of 532,911 stops last year, 89% did not result in an arrest or 
summons. But of those who were arrested, 5,307, or 16%, were charged 
with pot possession, the NYCLU analysis found.

Too often, the group said, police trick men into taking the drug out 
of a pocket because if it's in plain view, they can be charged with a 

Donna Lieberman, the NYCLU's executive director, said the numbers 
suggested that the stop-and-frisk initiative is "a Trojan horse for a 
marijuana arrest program." But Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly 
called that a "silly analogy."

Lieberman also blasted the mayor's contention that stopping people 
helps reduce violent crime, noting that even as stops dropped 22% 
last year compared with 2011, the murder rate plunged.

"We believe that New York's Finest are indeed capable of protecting 
our communities and protecting fundamental rights," she said.

The NYPD has staunchly defended stop-and-frisk as a way to get guns 
off the street and has denied allegations it targets men of color.
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