NEW YORK (AP) — Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Friday that police “disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little” as compared to murder suspects’ descriptions, sparking criticism from activists and some politicians in a city that has been immersed in a debate about law enforcement and discrimination.
Speaking on his weekly WOR-AM radio appearance, Bloomberg echoed an argument he has made before: that the stops’ demographics should be assessed against suspect descriptions, not the population as a whole. But coming a day after city lawmakers voted to create a police inspector general and new legal avenues for racial profiling claims, the mayor’s remarks drew immediate pushback.
The measures’ advocates accused the mayor of using “irresponsible rhetoric,” some mayoral hopefuls chastised him and some City Council members said his remarks only emphasized the need for change.
“Our mayor’s comments prove he just doesn’t get it,” said Councilman Robert Jackson, who co-chairs the council’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus.
Bloomberg spokesman Marc LaVorgna said the critics were “fabricating outrage over an absolutely accurate comment.”
“What they should be outraged by is the number of minorities who are being killed and that successful police efforts to save minority lives are being hampered,” he added.
About 5 million stops have been made during the past decade. Eighty-seven percent of those stopped in the last two years were black or Hispanic. Those groups comprise 54 percent of the city population.
There is no need to fabricate outrage over that Bloomberg comment or the way he is trying to mislead people into thinking this is just police work, with cops looking for suspects who match a particular description, including racial description.
Here was how one community activist group pushed back against Bloomberg:
The group Communities United for Police Reform called Bloomberg’s view misinformation, noting that most stops aren’t spurred by suspect descriptions. Police department records of the stops also list such reasons as “furtive movements” or suspicious bulges in clothing.
“Mayor Bloomberg should cease with the irresponsible rhetoric and seek to work with the council on a constructive path forward,” said Communities United for Police Reform spokeswoman Joo-Hyun Kang.
I've never understood why Bloomberg isn't vilified for being a racist dictator the way Rudy was.
Frankly, the racist police state policies are worse under Bloomberg than Rudy.