ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) - The state Attorney General's Office is reviewing the New York Police Department's "stop-and-frisk'' tactic that has drawn criticism from civil liberties advocates, according to a published report.
American Civil Liberties Union director Donna Lieberman said she is hopeful that the Attorney General's review will test the NYPD's claim that the escalating stop-and-frisks keep crime down.
1010 WINS' Juliet Papa reported
"We'll be reaching out to the AG's office to urge them to undertake the kind of analysis that is desperately needed, and shine a light where the NYPD has drawn in a very thick, dark curtain," Lieberman told 1010 WINS' Juliet Papa.
Lieberman said that a report in 1999 led to more transparency, where the public can now see the data.
Last year, officers stopped and questioned 684,330 people on the streets under the stop-and-frisk program, a record since the NYPD began tallies in 2002.
WCBS 880's Rich Lamb with Mayor Michael Bloomberg
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the fact that officers are recovering fewer guns through stop-and-frisks is an indication that the program is working.
"I think that our policies are in compliance with the law, our policies are one of the most important tools we have to get guns off the streets," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in response to Schneiderman's review.
"I don't think very many people want to go back to the old days," he added. "You can walk in any neighborhood in this city during the day without looking over your shoulder, and almost every neighborhood at night. I know no other city in the country of any size where you can possibly do that."
He believes the stop-and-frisk program is lowering the city's crime rate, but conceded it could be applied more effectively.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said every situation is different.
"This is situation driven. It depends on what conditions officers encounter on the street," he told WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond on March 30.
"I think the effectiveness of the program is shown in the fact that under the Bloomberg decade, we've had a 51 percent decrease in murders in the city," he said.
Civil rights groups argue that the tactic unfairly targets minorities.
(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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