New York City Briefs for 2-15-2012

February 15, 2012 Updated: February 15, 2012

Stop-and-Frisk Numbers Soar

The number of New Yorkers who have been stopped and searched by the police in 2011 hit a high of 684,330. The police began collecting the data in 2002, at which time they stopped 97,296 people, according to the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU). That’s a 603 percent increase over the last decade.

NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne points out murders have decreased by approximately half in the same period “attributable to proactive policing strategies that included stops.” Stop-and-frisks led police to confiscate over 8,000 weapons in 2011.

In 2011, 87 percent of stops involved black or Latino New Yorkers and almost 9 out of 10 were innocent.

NYCLU, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, and other minority advocates say the practice unfairly targets African-Americans and Latinos and makes them feel alienated rather than inclined to work with police.

Mayor Bloomberg Turns 70

Mayor Michael Bloomberg celebrated his 70th birthday on Tuesday. Born in Massachusetts in 1942, Bloomberg earned a bachelor’s degree in science from Johns Hopkins and a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard. He started with Salomon Brothers and became a partner in the firm in 1972.

He founded media agency Bloomberg L.P. in 1981 and became mayor in 2002, serving the first of three consecutive terms, which will come to an end this year.

Forbes ranks Bloomberg as 17th in its 2011 list of the world’s most powerful people and 12th richest person in America.