Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Bloomberg Policies As Racist As Giuliani's - Why Does Bloomberg Get A Pass?

The NY Times editorializes on the Stop-And-Frisk trial that has revealed Bloomberg's NYPD has quotas for how many black men need to be stopped and questioned every month:

The New York City Police Department has a long history of violating constitutional rights by stopping, questioning or frisking people on the streets without legal justification. The city has steadfastly denied that the detentions — made under its increasingly unpopular stop-and-frisk program — have been based on race. 

But that claim is being challenged in Floyd v. the City of New York, a federal class-action trial in Manhattan, where witnesses including police officers are arguing that the department does, in fact, use race as the basis for stopping and frisking hundreds of thousands of citizens a year. 

This week, the court heard a troubling recording secretly made last month by Officer Pedro Serrano, of the 40th Precinct, in the South Bronx. Mr. Serrano is one of a handful of officers who began tape-recording conversations with their colleagues or superiors to document what they saw as wrongdoing. 

In the recording, Deputy Inspector Christopher McCormack is heard urging Mr. Serrano to stop, question and, if necessary, frisk “the right people at the right time, the right location.” When Mr. Serrano asked for clarification about who the “right people” were, the inspector replied: “The problem was, what, male blacks.” He continued, “And I told you at roll call, and I have no problem telling you this, male blacks 14 to 20, 21.” 

On its face, this would seem to violate the Fourth Amendment, which protects citizens against unlawful search and seizure. Police officers can legally stop and detain a person only when they have a reasonable suspicion that the person is committing, has committed or is about to commit a crime.
The trial court also heard this week from Officer Adhyl Polanco of the 41st Precinct, who had taped proceedings in his station house. Mr. Polanco testified that officers were subject to a quota system, which required them to write more summonses, make more arrests and create stop-and-frisk encounters. He said that his superiors wanted “20 summons and one arrest per month.” The plaintiffs argue that a quota system put officers under pressure to make unconstitutional stops. 

The trial is expected to last six weeks. But the testimony has already pointed to disturbing conduct by the police command and a profound indifference to the constitutional rights of the city’s citizens.

Indeed all of this is troubling, but not surprising if you have been paying attention these last few years.

You can be sure more damaging testimony about Bloomberg's Stop-And-Frisk will be revealed as the trial goes on.

He has turned this city into a place of fear for people of color, whether black men trying to walk somewhere who are always the potential target of a stop by the police simply on the basis of their race or people of a certain religion, who may never know if that person at the mosque next to them is an undercover cop trying to sting them in an NYPD anti-terrorist operation.

Bloomberg has been granted a pass on all of this in a way that Rudy Giuliani, a more upfront fellow in his disdain for people of color, would not have been.

But make no mistake, Bloomberg has made this city a city for white people and rich people and especially rich white people.

If you are of color, if you are poor, if you are especially poor and of color, you are a second class citizen.

Bloomberg himself may act less overtly racist than Rudy Giuliani, but his administration's policies are certainly as racist as Giuliani's and perhaps even worse.

Talking with a student yesterday, a girl who just turned 18, she has been stopped by the police 22 times in her life.

22 times.

She says it's a fact of life because of the neighborhood she lives in and the color of her skin.

Welcome to Pretoria on the Hudson - Bloomberg's New York City.


  1. TeachmyclassMrMayor(andyoutooMrMulgrew)March 23, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    He gets a pass because he OWNS (literally & figuratively), the media.

  2. Will the communities most effected by this Bloomberg policy support his hand picked replacement Christine ( I am for the middle class and Kelly) Quinn????

  3. A city where law enforcement officers have arrest quotas is by definition a Police State.

    1. And a city that has quotas for how many black men must be stopped every month by law enforcement is a racist police state.

  4. Thanks for linking to my old blog.
    Please change the link to the new address,
    As you see from both sites, I'm transitioning.

    Great, important post by the way.
    Check out this one too:
    Recording Points to Race Factor in Stops by New York Police