NEW YORK – Council Member Rory I. Lancman and the Community Service Society of New York (CSS) today criticized the NYPD for falling short of its obligations under Local Law 47, which requires the Department to report quarterly on the number of arrests made and civil summonses issued for fare evasion, broken down by demographic information, at each of the city’s 472 subway stations. Last month, Lancman and CSS filed a lawsuit to force the NYPD to fully comply with the law, after the city missed the first three reporting deadlines.
The Police Department today released a limited portion of fare evasion arrest and summons data for three reporting periods (Q4 of 2017 and Q1 and Q2 of 2018) that did not include:
Any data for the 372 stations that fall below the top 100 stations with the most arrests made or summonses issued
The exact number of individuals arrested or summonsed at any station ranked outside the top 10
The number of individuals of each race, age, or gender group who were arrested or summonsed at any station ranked outside the top 10
Distinct identifying information for stations with the same name (e.g., multiple, indistinguishable entries for “86 Street” or “125 Street”)
Despite being incomplete, the data released today by the NYPD does indicate that troubling patterns of racial disparities in fare evasion arrests persist. Last year, a CSS report “The Crime of Being Short $2.75” documented how fare evasion arrests disproportionately impacted poor black communities in New York.
“Today’s NYPD disclosure of limited fare evasion data is a sham and makes a mockery of the law its leadership has sworn to uphold, underscoring the City’s refusal to confront the racial disparities in how fare evasion is enforced,” said Council Member Rory I. Lancman, chair of the Committee on the Justice System. “The data the Police Department released today is nothing more than a smokescreen that undermines both the letter and the spirit of the law. We will continue to fight this battle in Court.”
“Using our own research and data from public defender organizations, we documented in stark terms how fare evasion policing practices disproportionately target young black and brown males in poor Brooklyn communities,” said David R. Jones, President and CEO of the Community Service Society. “To determine if these practices were widespread and reflected a bias in enforcement, Council Member Lancman introduced legislation that the City Council passed last year requiring the NYPD to provide quarterly reports on fare evasions arrests and summonses. Simply put, the data provided today by the NYPD falls far short of the law’s requirements.”