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New York City's police accused of discrimination in its stop-and-search policy

A national Latino law enforcement group addressed New York City's police not to discriminate in its stop-and-search policy.

The 59-page report by the RAND Corp. found that the New York Police Department demonstrated no clear racial bias in the stop-and-frisk policy that resulted in more than 500,000 stops of pedestrians last year, most of whom were black or Hispanic.

The report "presupposes that all stops are recorded and justified," said the National Latino Officers Association of America and confirmed what the Hispanic group already knew: "You get exactly what you pay for."

"This study is comprised of endless excuses (and) statistical justifications," the association said, and African Americans and Hispanics are categorized "as statistically insignificant."

"The report draws conclusions that have no basis in reality. If left unchallenged, it is the justification for racial profiling, abuse and discrimination," the group said.

The department has long denied allegations of bias and officials have said the report was an independent review.

"Not surprisingly, this statement is riddled with inaccuracies and exposes Miranda's deep ignorance of the statistical process employed by RAND, a nationally respected non-profit, which subjected its research to rigorous peer review," police spokesman Paul Browne said in a statement referring to Anthony Miranda, the association's executive chairman.

The majority of the people stopped last year, 53 percent, were black; 29 percent were Hispanic and 11 percent were white. The 36,000-member department, the nation's largest, commissioned the study earlier this year.

Researchers for the report said they found only "small racial differences in the rates of frisk, search, use of force and arrest."

The study, released Tuesday, acknowledged that black pedestrians were stopped at a rate that is 50 percent greater than their representation in the census. But the report claimed that using the census as a benchmark was unreliable because it did not factor in higher arrest rates and more crime suspect descriptions involving blacks and Hispanics.

The report recommended that, because 90 percent of the people stopped were never arrested or ticketed, officers needed to better explain reasons for the stops.

"This report did nothing but disregard community complaints and suspicions," the Latino officers' group said.

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