[Video of the brutal beating of 19-year old Jateik Reed during an NYPD "Stop and Frisk"]
The NYPD on Sunday spoke with glowing praise of their under-fire "Stop and Frisk" policy that allows them to throw anyone they please up against a wall, and sometimes worse (See Jateik Reed video above).
Comparing numbers from the first three months of 2012 to the same period last year, the number of such stops increased 10% while the number of illicit guns taken away went up 31%, according to a New York Police Department statement from Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne.
Meanwhile, New York's murder rate has plunged 21% year-to-date as of last Friday -- meaning, if the current trend continues, the yearly number of murders in the city would be the lowest since such statistics first were recorded, as such, in 1963.
"New York City continues to be the safest big city in America, and one of the safest of any size, with significantly less crime per capita ... than even small cities," the department said.
Police cited Operation Impact and the "stop and frisk" policy as key reasons for the improving crime statistics. But the policy has been criticized sharply by some as grounds for racial profiling.
The statement drew a harsh response from the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) as executive director Donna Lieberman accused the NYPD of trying to "massage the numbers to make this look like an effective and worthwhile program."
Just last Wednesday, the NYCLU released a report of their own based on the information cited by the NYPD in Sunday's statement from Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne:
More young black men were stopped and frisked by police last year than actually live in the city, according to an analysis by the New York Civil Liberties Union.
About 168,000 black men between the ages of 14 and 24 were stopped under the controversial NYPD program in 2011 -- compared to the 158,406 who live in the five boroughs.
The NYCLU report also revealed of five precincts with blacks and latinos comprising as little as 8 percent of the population, they still accounted for up to 77 percent of of the stops in those areas.
The NYPD denies any claims of racial profiling, and says that it targets only "those who commit crimes." Yet as was revealed in the case of Jateik Reed, claims by police that he was carrying drugs have been shown to be false, and that his arrest was unfounded and he shouldn't have even been stopped when an outdoor surveillance camera video surfaced.