Life in a crime scene: Stop, question, and frisk activity in New York City neighborhoods in the aftermath of homicides

Johanna Lacoe, Patrick Sharkey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


An incident of extreme violence, such as a homicide, disrupts daily life not only through the incident itself but also through the chaos and disruption that emerge in the aftermath of violence. This article presents descriptive evidence about how communities are affected by increased police activity-specifically, stop, question, and frisk (SQF) activity-following an incident of extreme violence. Our results show that SQF activity in a block group increases in the week following a homicide in New York City, with the largest increases in neighborhoods with high crime rates. Furthermore, neighborhoods with different racial and ethnic compositions have differential levels of average SQF activity and also experience differential responses from the police in the aftermath of a homicide. African American residents have a higher probability of being stopped following a homicide than do nonblack residents across neighborhoods of all types.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-134
Number of pages19
JournalSociological Science
StatePublished - Feb 24 2016



  • Homicide
  • Neighborhood crime
  • Policing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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