Study Reveals Impact of Stop and Frisk Police Actions on Young People
Date:  10-15-2013

Young people who were stopped and frisked by police are less likely to trust police, or call on them for help
The Fortune Society’s David Rothenberg Center for Public Policy, (DRCPP), announced a new Vera Center on Youth Justice study, Coming of Age with Stop and Frisk: Experiences, Self-Perceptions, and Public Safety Implications.

The Fortune Society, writes:

“A new study from Vera’s Center on Youth Justice examines the question “How does being stopped by police, and the frequency of those stops, affect those who experience them at a young age?” The answer, put simply is that trust in law enforcement among these young people is alarmingly low. The results reveal a great deal about the experiences and perceptions of young New Yorkers who are most likely to be stopped.”

Key Findings from Coming of Age with Stop and Frisk include:

  • For many young people, stops are a familiar and frequent experience and also perceived to be unjustified and unfair. 44 percent of young people surveyed indicated they had been stopped repeatedly—9 times or more.

  • Less than a third—29 percent—reported ever being informed of the reason for a stop.

  • Frisks, searches, threats, and use of force are common. 71 percent of young people surveyed reported being frisked at least once, and 64 percent said they had been searched.

  • 45 percent reported encountering an officer who threatened them, and 46 percent said they had experienced physical force at the hands of an officer.

  • One out of four said they were involved in a stop in which the officer displayed his or her weapon.

  • Trust in law enforcement and willingness to cooperate with police is alarmingly low. 88 percent of young people surveyed believe that residents of their neighborhood do not trust the police.

  • Only four in 10 respondents said they would be comfortable seeking help from police if in trouble

  • Only one in four respondents would report someone whom they believe had committed a crime.

  • Young people who have been stopped more often in the past are less willing to report crimes, even when they themselves are the victims. Each additional stop in the span of a year is associated with an eight percent drop in the person’s likelihood of reporting a violent crime he or she might experience in the future.

  • Half of all young people surveyed had been the victim of a crime, including 37 percent who had been victim of a violent crime.

  • Young people are self-confident and optimistic.
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