Witness: NYPD officers feel more pressure to stop, frisk

People walk by a Times Square police precinct People walk by a Times Square police precinct in Manhattan. (July 10, 2012) Photo Credit: Getty Images

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A survey of retired NYPD officers showed dramatic increases in the pressure to perform street stops during the last decade, an expert testified Friday in a federal court challenge to stop-and-frisk tactics.

Eli Silverman, a John Jay College of Criminal Justice professor appearing for the plaintiffs, said only 9.1 percent of officers who retired before 1995 reported pressure to conduct more stop-and-frisks.

That figure rose to 19.1 percent for officers retiring from 1995 to 2001, and then to 35.1 percent for those retiring since 2002. The survey, conducted over the Internet last year, was based on responses from 1,962 officers.

Plaintiffs in the case claim pressure to increase stop-and-frisk activity under Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg has led to stops that don't meet the Supreme Court standard of "reasonable suspicion" and unfairly target minorities.

They want Manhattan U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin to rein in use of the tactic.

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