New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg contends that racial profiling is not a problem in the NYPD's stop-and-frisk program, and, if anything, "we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little."
Bloomberg appeared on John Gambling's WOR-NY radio show, Capital New York reports, to discuss two bills passed by the New York City Council -- one that would create an inspector general to oversee the NYPD, and another to allow people to sue over racial profiling by the police. "The racial profiling bill is just so unworkable," Bloomberg said. "Nobody racially profiles."
From Capital New York:
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."
Bloomberg's comments are similar to those made by NYPD Chief Raymond Kelly back in May. "It makes no sense to use census data, because half the people you stop would be women," Kelly argued. "African-Americans are being understopped in relation to the percentage of people being described as being the perpetrators of violent crime. The stark reality is that a crime happens in communities of color."
As Salon's Natasha Lennard laid out in response to Kelly's remarks:
While Mayor Bloomberg has been mayor, the NYPD has carried out over 5 million stop-and-frisks. Analysis by the ACLU of official police data found that over 86 percent of the stops were of black or Latino individuals. The analysis of police data also revealed that 88 percent of the stops did not result in an arrest or summons (and of course an even smaller proportion ever lead to a prosecution, or conviction). The number of innocent people stopped alone serves as ample riposte to Kelly’s suggestion that any demographic is “understopped.”
Here's the audio, via ThinkProgress: