He can’t be fawking serious, can he???
Pushing back against critics of stop-and-frisk policing, Mayor Bloomberg Friday said it could be argued that the Police Department stops white people too many times and non-whites too little.
The comments – made one day after the City Council passed two bills to rein in the controversial police tactic – touched off a firestorm of criticism.
Speaking on his weekly radio show, Bloomberg sought to rebut critics who cite the high percentage of blacks and Hispanics stopped by the police as proof that stop-and-frisk has unfairly singled out minorities.
“One newspaper and one news service, they just keep saying, ‘Oh, it’s a disproportionate percentage of a particular ethnic group.’ That may be. But it’s not a disproportionate percentage of those who witnesses and victims describe as committing the murders,” Bloomberg said.
“In that case, incidentally, I think, we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little,” the mayor said. “It’s exactly the reverse of what they’re saying. I don’t know where they went to school, but they certainly didn’t take a math course, or a logic course.”
Complaints in the black community about the aggressive use of stop-and-frisk policing have led to a federal lawsuit challenging the practice and fueled a passionate debate in the mayoral race.
Several mayoral hopefuls sharply criticized Bloomberg for his remarks Friday.
“His comments weren’t worthy of any elected official, much less the mayor of the city of New York,” said Democrat Bill Thompson, the only black candidate in the race.
Another Democrat, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, urged followers on Twitter to retweet if they agreed that “Bloomberg’s statement today that minorities are stopped and frisked ‘too little’ is outrageous and out of touch.”
These aren’t just emotional responses, there are actually some real facts to support these claims, imagine that…
To buttress the mayor’s remarks, his office released a set of statistics. The numbers showed that 87% of the people stopped under stop-and-frisk in 2012 were black or Latino, and that 9% were white. That same year, more than 90% of those identified as murder suspects were blacks or Latino; just 7% were white.
Critics of stop-and-frisk charge that such numbers are irrelevant. They charge that cops indiscriminately go after young black and Hispanic men on bogus grounds, and that nearly nine out of ten people who are stopped are innocent.
Thompson called a mid-afternoon news conferencejust to denounce Bloomberg’s comments. He claimed the mayor seemed to be suggesting that blacks and Latinos were “automatically” murder suspects.
“I just found it to be an incredibly insulting moment,” Thompson said.
“Insulting” to say the LEAST! Bloomie definitely lost some votes with that one. GTFOHWTBS!
Image via AP