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Stop and frisk causes anxiety in young men, study claims

Stop and frisk has been a common practice in New York for well over a decade.

By Thor Benson
Stop and frisk causes anxiety in young men, study claims
A line of NYPD Police Officers watch protesters block traffic on lower Broadway near Wall Street during a rally and protest called "Flood Wall Street" in New York City on September 22, 2014. The protest was similar to the Occupy Wall Street set of protests but this one was more related to Climate Week and Global Warming Issues. UPI/John Angelillo | License Photo

NEW YORK, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- A new study suggests the New York City Police Department's stop and frisk practice may be leading to elevated levels of anxiety among young men in the city, especially young black men.

The policy allows police to stop pedestrians and search them for drugs or weapons.

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"Although 80% of respondents reported being stopped 10 times or fewer, more than 5% of respondents reported being stopped more than 25 times, and 1% of respondents reported more than 100 stops," says the study, which was published in the American Journal of Public Health on Thursday.

The study found that people who are stopped frequently report high levels of stress and anxiety when roaming the city, while those who are not stopped frequently do not feel those emotions. The study found black respondents were both more likely to feel those emotions and more likely to have been stopped regularly. The study involved 1,200 men ages 18 to 26, and it was conducted over a six month period.

The stop and frisk practice was instated by former mayor Rudy Giuliani. The New York chapter of the ACLU reports New Yorkers were stopped by police under the practice 191,558 times in 2013, and 169,252 people were not found to have any illegal items.

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Of the 191,556 detainees, 56 percent were black.

Situations like the choking death of a black man who was selling cigarettes on the street, Eric Garner, have raised public awareness of the practice and its consequences.

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