A national Latino law enforcement group on Thursday blasted an outside report that concluded the New York Police Department demonstrated no clear racial bias with its aggressive "stop-and-frisk" policy.
The policy resulted in more than 500,000 stops of pedestrians last year, most of them black or Hispanic, but the report said RAND Corp. researchers found only "small racial differences in the rates of frisk, search, use of force and arrest."
The National Latino Officers Association of America said the report confirmed what it already knew: "You get exactly what you pay for."
"This study is comprised of endless excuses, statistical justifications," the association said.
"If left unchallenged, it is the justification for racial profiling, abuse and discrimination," the group added.
The NYPD, which has long denied allegations of bias, responded on Thursday with a statement referring to the Latino group's executive chairman, Anthony Miranda.
"Not surprisingly, this statement is riddled with inaccuracies and exposes Miranda's deep ignorance of the statistical process employed by RAND, a nationally respected nonprofit, which subjected its research to rigorous peer review," police spokesman Paul Browne said in a statement.
The majority of the people stopped last year, 53 percent, were black; 29 percent were Hispanic, and 11 percent were white.
The study acknowledged that black pedestrians were stopped at a rate 50 percent greater than their representation in the census, but it claimed using the census as a benchmark was unreliable because it didn't factor in higher arrest rates and more crime suspect descriptions involving blacks and Hispanics.