While police officials say the practice is a major reason for the sharp drop in homicides in New York, critics say the vast majority of those subjected to it are black or Hispanic, and almost 90 percent are not arrested or given summonses.
Schneiderman promised during his 2010 campaign that he would end "unjustified stop-and-frisk practices." The New York Daily News reported it has obtained documents showing he has discussed the policy with members of his staff.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly back the practice. Kelly at a meeting Tuesday said stop and frisk is "saving lives," citing a 51 percent drop in homicides in the city in the past 10 years.
In 2011, New York police officers reported stopping a record 685,724 people. More than half, 53 percent, were black, 34 percent were Hispanic and 9 percent white.
Police recovered 819 guns, or one for about every 80,000 stops, and 88 percent of those frisked were not arrested or given a summons.
A report in 1999 by Eliot Spitzer, the former New York governor who was then state attorney general, found what appeared to be racial bias. The report said even in largely white neighborhoods a majority of those stopped and frisked were members of minority groups.