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Series

SSRN

Columbia Law School

Criminal Law

2001

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Street Stops And Broken Windows: Terry, Race And Disorder In New York City, Jeffrey Fagan, Garth Davies Jan 2001

Street Stops And Broken Windows: Terry, Race And Disorder In New York City, Jeffrey Fagan, Garth Davies

Faculty Scholarship

Patterns of "stop and frisk" activity by police across New York City neighborhoods reflect competing theories of aggressive policing. "Broken Windows" theory suggests that neighborhoods with greater concentrations of physical and social disorder should evidence higher stop and frisk activity, especially for "quality of life" crimes. However, while disorder theory informs quality of life policing strategies, observed patterns of stop and frisk activity suggest that neighborhood characteristics such as racial composition, poverty levels and the extent of social disorganization are stronger predictors of race- and crime-specific police stops than is the presence of "broken windows." Furthermore, stops of minority citizens ...