Civil rights activists are calling for accountability after a new report shows the majority of drivers who got arrested during traffic stops last year were people of color.

"Race plays a big role in what happens to motorists after they get stopped and that number just jumps off the page," Chris Dunn, the legal director of the nonprofit organization New York Civil Liberties Union, said.

What You Need To Know

  • Of the more than 673,000 traffic stops made in 2022, just 2% resulted in arrests

  • But of the 15,000 traffic stop arrests, 49% of those drivers were Black and 39% were Latino

  • Meanwhile, nearly 15,000 pedestrians were stopped by the NYPD last year

  • That is a 61% increase compared to 2021

According to a new report by NYCLU, the NYPD made more than 673,000 traffic stops in 2022, 15,000 of which resulted in arrests. 49% of those drivers arrested were Black and 39% were Latino.

"Something is wrong when you see 9 out of ten people getting arrested are Black or Latino," Dunn said.

2022 was the first year that the NYPD had to report on traffic stops. Dunn says it is striking that just 2% of car stops lead to an arrest.

"The department needs to have a much stricter policy about when they are stopping people and for how long," Dunn said. "Right now, the department can stop anyone for any reason and given these numbers, there needs to be a change in the rules in how police officers are stopping people."

The report also states that nearly 15,000 pedestrians were stopped by the NYPD last year. That’s the highest number since 2015 and a 61% increase compared to 2021.

The NYCLU says about 60% of those pedestrians were Black and roughly 30% were Latino. Activists say stop and frisk has seen a resurgence under Mayor Eric Adams, who has defended the controversial policing procedure on several occasions.

"We know that doesn't work. We know that does not fix crime problems and we see year after year, very few people are getting arrested as a result of stop and frisk," Dunn said. "Most people are getting stopped and frisked are innocent people and they're Black and brown New Yorkers."

In a statement, a spokesperson for the NYPD said that "the authority to stop an individual based upon reasonable suspicion of a crime and frisk that person if the officer perceives a danger is an essential tool in helping to reduce violence."

"Slight fluctuations in the annual tallies of stops is also impacted by more accurate reporting by officers," a spokesperson for the NYPD said.

The NYPD also says pedestrian and traffic stops are still far lower than they were a decade ago, while the number of arrests, summonses and weapons seized during those encounters have increased.