In a bid to boost security at public housing complexes, Mayor Michael Bloomberg this morning suggested fingerprinting residents so they can access their homes.
“What we really should have is fingerprinting to get in. And of course there’s an allegation that some of these apartments aren’t occupied by the people who originally have the lease,” said Mr. Bloomberg during his weekly radio sit-down with WOR’s John Gambling.
The mayor noted that, while New York City Housing Authority building house about five percent of the city’s population, they account for about 20 percent of city crime.
“We’ve just gotta find some ways to keep bringing crime down there,” he said, arguing that most people who live in the buildings want more police protection.
Needless to say, this proposal hasn't gone over so well:
The fingerprinting idea left some reeling, including two mayoral candidates who simultaneously released statements condemning the comment.
“Disrespectful. Disgraceful. No other words apply,” former Comptroller Bill Thompson said in a statement. “Just like stop and frisk, this is another direct act of treating minorities like criminals. Mayor Bloomberg wants to make New Yorkers feel like prisoners in their own homes. When I’m mayor, I’ll keep NYCHA residents safe without taking away their dignity. I’ll increase police presence and install security cameras that should have been installed years ago to safeguard residents.”
“The Mayor’s comments that New Yorkers who enter public housing should be fingerprinted is outrageous and insulting and shows just how out of touch this administration has become,” Public Advocate Bill de Blasio piled on. “Once again, Mayor Bloomberg has resorted to presuming innocent people are guilty simply because they happen to live in certain areas, and in doing so he is stigmatizing entire communities.”
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn also slammed the fingerprinting idea.
“It’s a completely ludicrous and outrageous notion that NYCHA residents and their guests should have to be fingerprinted to gain access to their own homes and to visit family and friends,” she said in a statement. “Rather than go after law abiding citizens who live in public housing, the City needs to provide residents with the security systems they have been promised for years.”
Four and a half months until this petty little man leaves office.
How much more damage will he do in that time?