Mayor Bloomberg went full troll during his weekly radio appearance on Friday, offering his opinion that too many white people are being stopped-and-frisked...but the NYPD has really been lax when it comes to stop-and-frisking minorities! "I think we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little. It's exactly the reverse of what they say," Bloomberg said, referring to the City Council passing two NYPD oversight bills intended to check the NYPD's allegedly unconstitutional enforcement policies (bills he's already vowed to veto). "I don't know where they went to school but they certainly didn't take a math course. Or a logic course."
Where to begin: how about the fact that more than 86 percent of people stopped during the Bloomberg administration were black or Latino, according to an analysis by the NYCLU based on an extrapolation of Police Department data. And 4.4 million of these stop-and-frisk encounters, or 88 percent, were of innocent people who were not arrested or issued a summons. During Bloomberg's first year in office, the NYPD conducted 97,296 street stops; in 2012, they racked up 533,042—down from 685,724 in 2011.
Only nine percent of stops were white people. Still, Bloomberg was undeterred in his assessment: "That may be, but it's not a disproportionate percentage of those who witnesses and victims describe as committing the murders," he said, adding, "most serious crimes in this city are committed by male minorities [age] 15 to 25." So does Bloomberg think it's good to "instill fear" in minorities?
Bloomberg also didn't address the fact that as stop-and-frisks have gone down over the last year—due to several major lawsuits and NYPD "policy considerations"—shootings and murders have also gone down in tandem.
City council members and mayoral candidates were appalled by his statements: “The mayor’s comments seem to indicate that if you’re black or Latino, you’re automatically a murder suspect in the city of New York,” said Bill Thompson. “What he indicates to the hundreds of thousands of people who are stopped and frisked unnecessarily in past years is that ‘we’re sorry we didn’t stop more people in the city of New York.’ ”
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, who is holding a press conference today to demand an apology from Bloomberg, said he was “outraged.” “[The mayor] literally said the police aren’t stopping black and Latino people enough — that by the statistics, there should be more stops, particularly of young men,” de Blasio said. “That is unacceptable. It’s out of touch, it’s insensitive, and I dare say it is hurtful to people all over the city.”
Members of the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus also responded: "His reckless and misleading remarks just reaffirm the racial profiling nature of stop and frisk. The program is founded on a biasbased profiling idea; ideas are not metrics to measure results and the effectiveness of a program," said co-chair and Council Member Fernando Cabrera. "Our Mayor’s comments prove he just doesn’t get it! This is why we need the Community Safety Act (CSA). It will ensure that policies such as Stop, Question and Frisk are void of any discriminatory tactics,” said fellow co-chair and Councilmember Robert Jackson.
Even Christine Quinn criticized the mayor: “I disagree strongly with the mayor on this point. We have too many stops that overwhelmingly focus on young men of color, yielding very few weapons,” she said.