Bloomberg: Police stop minorities 'too little'

June 28, 2013 3:21:51 PM PDT
Mayor Michael Bloomberg's remark that police "disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little," as compared with murder suspects' descriptions, is prompting criticism from police reform advocates and some mayoral candidates.

Bloomberg spoke Friday on WOR-AM. City lawmakers voted Thursday to make it easier to bring racial profiling claims against police.

In New York City, the vast majority of people stopped, questioned, and frisked are black and Latino.

But the mayor said on Friday that's not enough.

The mayor's comments infuriated many and they couldn't believe what he said.

"I found Mayor Bloomberg's comments today on his radio show to be outrageous and insulting. The mayor's comments seemed to indicate if you're black or Latino you're automatically a suspect in the City of New York. I think we all know how ridiculous that assumption is," said Bill Thompson, (D) Mayoral Candidate.

Just this week, the City Council passed two bills designed to reign in police and to cut down on so many Stop and Frisk reports.

The mayor's comments Friday were roundly condemned.

"Outrageous, really unbelievably out of touch and insensitive. This mayor, it's almost like he can't take the fact that things aren't going his way anymore," said Bill de Blasio, (D) Mayoral Candidate.

But the mayor wasn't backing down. He pointed to the record that 87% of stops were on blacks and Latinos and that 90% of murder suspects were black and Latino.

In other words, 9% of stops were on whites last year.

Only 7% of murder suspects were white.

That's why the mayor says his critics are just plain wrong.

"It's exactly the reverse of what they 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," Mayor Bloomberg said.

The mayor's promising a veto of this weeks' City Council action. Police unions back the mayor, but they refused to take sides in the controversial comments.

"Our members aren't sitting out there saying is this a black guy is this a white guy. We're saying, is that person a criminal and let me get them off the street, that's all we think about," said Pat Lynch, PBA President.

The group Communities United for Police Reform calls Bloomberg's view misinformation, noting that most stops aren't spurred by descriptions.

(Some information from the Associated Press)