NYC Fails To Descend Into Chaos As Stop-And-Frisk Use Continues To Drop

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 18:  New York CIty Police officers watch over a demonstration against the city's 'stop and frisk' search
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 18: New York CIty Police officers watch over a demonstration against the city's 'stop and frisk' searches in lower Manhattan near Federal Court March 18, 2013 in New York City. Hearings in a federal lawsuit filed by four black men against the city police department's 'stop and frisk' searches starts today in Manhattan Federal Court. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

The number of police stops in New York City has continued its steep decline in 2014. Contrary to warnings, however, the city still hasn't descended into a crime-ridden 1970s version of itself.

In fact, the rate of murders and other serious crimes has also dropped.

Although exact numbers haven't been released, police sources tell DNAinfo's Murray Weiss that the number of NYPD stops for the first quarter of 2014 will be lower than the last quarter of 2013. In that quarter, there were 12,495 stops -- an 86 percent drop from the same period in 2012, when there were 89,620 stops.

And yet, so far this year, there have been only 44 murders, an 18 percent drop from the 54 murders during the same period in 2013, Weiss reports. The number of shootings has fallen 13.5 percent, from 145 during the same period in 2013, to 128. And the number of rapes and robberies dropped 7 percent compared to the same time last year.

According to DNAinfo, the number of assaults and car thefts were the only crime categories that saw a jump. Assaults rose 6.5 percent, and the number of car thefts rose 11.5 percent.

The number of police stops dropped dramatically in 2013, amid growing criticism of the NYPD's stop-and-frisk regimen. New Yorkers were stopped 191,558 times last year, compared to 2011, when New Yorkers were stopped 605,328 times.

This drop in police stops correlated with a record lower murder rate. In 2011, there were 502 murders in New York City. In 2013, there were 333 murders, fewer than any year in the city's recorded history.

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly consistently defended the NYPD's stop-and-frisk program. Kelly once ominously warned New Yorkers that "people will die" if stop-and-frisk were to be curtailed.

Mayor Bill de Blasio's landslide victory over Joe Lhota in November is attributed by many to his tough stance on stop and frisk, which de Blasio said was disproportionately affecting minorities. Eightly-seven percent of those stopped by police in 2012 were either black or Latino.

During the race, a Lhota campaign ad warned that if de Blasio had his way with stop and frisk, New York City would return to bad old days of the 1970s, 80s, and early 90s, when crime rates soared.