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Stop-and-frisk data

People sometimes ask us for the data from our article on stop-and-frisk policing, but for legal reasons these data cannot be shared.

Other data are available, though. Sharad Goel writes:

You might also check out stop-and-frisk data from Chicago and Seattle. And, if you’re interested in traffic stop data as well, see our Open Policing Project, a repository of about 200 million traffic stop records from across the country.

So, if you’re interested, that’s a start.


  1. Ravi Shroff says:

    The NYPD does release detailed information on stop-and-frisk each year, although only from 2003 onward:
    Some of the records have been cleaned and processed, and are available here:

  2. Nick says:

    Here is a comment on how “optimal” behavior may be in contradiction to social justice.
    Suppose you are a cop with a quota of busting 20 people/month for illegal drugs.
    [Yes I know this is (usually) illegal but it sure happens]. Next suppose that you believe
    that a random White guy has a slightly lower chance of carrying drugs than a random Black guy.
    [For the argument it doesn’t matter if this is true]. Say 5% for White, 5.1% for Black.
    Then your optimal “efficient” strategy is to only stop and frisk Blacks.

  3. jonathan says:

    in terms of communication, if I search for ‘violent’ in the article, you never define what a ‘violent crime stop’ is. Looking for someone? If that is it, then some of the difference could be described as rousting, but some could also be described as the police sending messages to the precinct that they care about violent crime, etc. So some could be a byproduct of good intent. But my main comment is that you dont define how these stops differ, and particularly what a violent crime stop is. If I missed it, then blame my reading comprehension..

    • Andrew says:


      From our article: “To give a sense of the data, Figure 1 displays the number of stops for blacks, Hispanics, and whites over the 15-month period, separately showing stops associated with each of four types of offenses (“suspected charges” as characterized on the UF-250 form): violent crimes, weapons offenses, property crimes, and drug crimes.” If you google UF-250 you can see a copy of the form. I’m not sure exactly how these were categorized in the data we analyzed.

  4. Renzo Alves says:

    Just wondering: How would the intellectuals “protect and serve” the community (communities that don’t like being stopped and frisked, but also don’t like being robbed and shot by criminals)?

    I mean, specifically, concretely, how would you do the job if you were a uniformed patrol officer in an area with non-randomly distributed patterns of street crime? (And the patterns were pretty obvious.)

    Or if it is too difficult to imagine being a LEO, how would you instruct street LEOs to perform their job concretely and specifically in such a way that they won’t (1) get attacked or shot or (2) sued, jailed, or fired (for either over-zealousness, or dereliction).
    And would you be willing to pay a price if your instructions have unforeseen negative consequences?
    I don’t have an agenda and don’t have a political side. I’m genuinely curious. My hypothesis is that you don’t have any clue.

    • Andrew says:


      I’m confused about your question. We have a division of labor in our society. Police officers do the police officer thing and statistics professors do the statistics professor thing. We have a lot more police officers in this country than statistics professors, but there’s room for both. If a cop stops me for speeding, that’s cool: they’re allowed to do this even though they probably couldn’t do my job very well. It’s their job to be cops, not to tell statistics professors how to be better statistics professors. Similarly, if my colleagues and I analyze data on police behavior, we hope this will be helpful, but we don’t consider it as part of our job to tell instruct police on how to do their jobs! I’ve also done research on public opinion and voting but I’d never dream of telling a candidate in a political campaign what to do. I’ve done research on medical statistics but I’d never dream of telling a doctor what to do. Etc. Division of labor!

      • morris39 says:

        I do believe that you are confused (maybe intentionally?) To most Americans Renzo is strongly implying that it is the academic class that is critical of the stop and search approach despite his diclaimer. It might have better to not have tried to answer. Yuor answer is of course corect but not relevant to the question.
        OK, I’m bored, sitting next door to your country and not really concerned with that issue.

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