Stop and Frisk

Mayor Bloomberg: We Don't Stop and Frisk Enough Minorities

New Yorkers voted for this guy three times

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Stop and Frisk by Dandelion Salad, on Flickr
Dandelion Salad/Flickr

Michael Bloomberg doesn't know the meaning of the words "lame duck," or humility for that matter. The Democratic contenders vying to replace him come November have pushed to pass two bills they believe would make stop and frisk more palatable to New Yorkers, or at least potential voters. One bill would set up an independent Inspector General for the NYPD. The other would allow people to sue if they believe they've been targeted by police on the basis of race as well as age, gender, sexual orientation or housing status. It leaves no remedy for someone targeted by police unfairly for a plethora of reasons (such as fuck you that's why). Both bills passed with a "veto-proof majority" but the mayor will veto anyway, because he doesn't see any problems with stop and frisk (which he's repeated many times before as the program faces legal challenge). From Capitol New York:

Not only has the mayor vowed to veto both bills, but he's also seeking to protect those vetoes from an override by turning some now-supportive councilmembers.

"The racial profiling bill is just so unworkable," he said today. "Nobody racially profiles."
"It's society's job to make sure that no one group is disproportionately represented as potential perpetrators," he added.

The mayor went on to cite the city's murder rate, which has fallen dramatically during his tenure, and argue that now is not the time to conduct a "social experiment."

"There is this business, there's one newspaper and one news service, they just keep saying, 'Oh it's a disproportionate percentage of a particular ethnic group,'" he went on. "That may be, but it's not a disproportionate percentage of those who witnesses and victims describe as committing the murder. In that case, incidentally, I think we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little."

But the statistics show a higher percentage of whites than blacks that are stopped and frisked are found to be carrying a weapon (though even among whites the percentage is too low to argue police had anything like probable cause for the search), suggesting that racial profiling is exactly what the police are doing.

Bloomberg made it to Reason's 45 Enemies of Freedom list in the latest issue, at newsstands now.