New York City’s plummeting murder rate may have increased the average life expectancy for residents of the Big Apple has risen, and the NYPD is crediting it to their controversial stop-and-frisk policy.
The life expectancy of New Yorkers was listed at 81 in 2010 compared to 78 a decade ago, according to a report from the city’s Health Department.
There are other reasons for the increased longevity besides less crime. The report credits two-thirds of the boost in life expectancy to a reduction in heart disease and cancer rates.
It also attributes 11 per cent of the increase to better treatment for residents living with AIDS/HIV.
However, the report agrees that the murder rate’s decline is contributing as much as 2 per cent to the change.
Last year there were 419 homicides in New York City, compared to 536 in 2010 and 673 in 2000.
The city’s overall death rate dropped from 7.4 per cent in 2002, which saw the deaths of 59,651 people, to 6.4 per cent in 2010, when 52,575 people died.
While every ethnic group benefits from the bump, the greatest increase is among the city’s black residents, who got another 3.8 years. Whites were given 3.2 years more while Hispanics were given an extra 2.2 years.
The murder rate for blacks is highest among ethnic groups at 16.8 per 100,000. Those figures are triple that of Hispanics and eight times the rate among whites.
When asked about the connection between the homicide rate and increased life spans by the New York Post, Health Department spokesman Sam Miller agreed that one had affected the other.
‘Yes, it has,’ he said.
Law-enforcement called the numbers a special case.
‘Wow. That’s amazing. Normally life-span increases are due to medical advances — not law-enforcement advances,’ said City Council Public Safety Committee Chairman Peter Vallone Jr.
The stop-and-frisk policy has been under fire recently, with critics claiming it is simply a tool for the city’s police to target and harass minorities.
The NYPD is in the midst of fighting a federal class-action lawsuit from the New York Civil Liberties Union alleging the the practice of stopping a person who an officer suspects has committed a crime, is committing a crime or is about to commit one, is unconstitutional.
The NYCL alleged that while black and Latino men ages 14 to 24 make up only 4.7 per cent of the city’s population, they accounted for 41 per cent of stop-and-frisk cases in 2011.
In testimony earlier this month, former NYPD Chief Joseph Esposito said no resident had ever criticized the program, The Huffington Post reported.
‘I don’t get a complaint from a civilian,’ he said. ‘I’ve heard it from Al Sharpton’s group.’
But an audio recording made public as part of the suit revealed a commanding officer ordering cops to stop ‘male blacks.’
The recording was made in secret in February by Officer Pedro Serrano in the 40th Precinct station house in the South Bronx and played for jurors.
Serrano captured a heated argument with his commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Christopher McCormack.
In the tape, McCormack lambasts Serrano for not stopping enough people and insists that he has a duty to prevent violent crime by frisking ‘the right people at the right time, the right location.’
After being pressed as to who the ‘right people’ were, McCormack explained that they were the ones causing the most problems, Gothamist reports.
Finally, he specifies exactly who he means.
‘The problem was, what, male blacks. And I told you at roll call, and I have no problem telling you this, male blacks 14 to 20, 21,’ McCormack can be heard to say on the tape.
Since Bloomberg took office the number of people subjected to stop-and-frisks has increased more than five times over.
531,000 were stopped-and-frisked last year.