Legal Aid Society


Op-Ed: How Many Stops Act Will Bring Transparency, Accountability to NYPD

Lindsey Smith, a staff attorney with the Cop Accountability Project at The Legal Aid Society, has penned an op-ed in support of the How Many Stops Act in today’s Queens Daily Eagle.

The Act will require the New York City Police Department (NYPD) to record and report data from all executed street stops, investigative encounters, and consent searches.

Currently, officers are not required to report so-called low-level encounters, which include approaching and asking New Yorkers about who they are, where they’re going, and what they’re doing in a particular part of town, or asking for consent to search their bags or person. The limited data available now shows that police stops are at their highest level since 2015, and 89% of reported stops in 2022 were of Black and Hispanic New Yorkers.

The bill is expected to pass the City Council and Legal Aid is urging the Mayor to sign it into law.

“This is commonsense, easy-to-implement legislation,” Smith writes in part. “The NYPD continues to question whether more transparency is needed around the rising number of police encounters. But the real question is: Why is the NYPD fighting so hard for secrecy?”

Read the full piece here.