Bloomberg: ‘We disproportionately stop whites too much’

Mayor Michael Bloomberg on April 30, 2013. Credit: Edward Reed.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg on April 30, 2013. Credit: Edward Reed.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has come under fire for some comments on a radio show Friday morning regarding stop-and-frisk.

The mayor declared that critics who say the NYPD “disproportionately” targets minorities are wrong, as the racial breakdown of stops is proportionate to the racial breakdown of reported descriptions of suspects.

“I think we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little,” Bloomberg said.

“They just keep saying, ‘Oh, it’s a disproportionate percentage of a particular ethnic group,’” he added. “That may be, but it’s not a disproportionate  percentage of those who witnesses and victims describe as committing the murder.”

The mayor’s office on Friday said that over 90 percent of descriptions of murder suspects are reported as black and Latino. Black and Latino New Yorkers comprise 87 percent of all stops.

7 percent of murder suspects are described as white, and 9 percent of people stopped are white, the mayor’s office reported.

The mayor has ramped up his defense of stop-and-frisk in the wake of the City Council passing two bills that would impose new rules and oversight on the NYPD: an anti-profiling bill and a bill that would establish an inspector general to monitor the department.

Bloomberg has vowed to veto both bills. Unless there are any changes of heart among the councilmembers who voted for the bills, the Council can then override his veto.

His comments sparked outrage among many, including the Reverend Al Sharpton, who called on the mayor to apologize for his comments.

When asked at the Pride Parade on Sunday about Sharpton’s request, the mayor dismissed it, and accused Sharpton, whom he called “a television star,” of pandering for attention.

Some of the candidates running for mayor in this year’s race were also quick to jump in the fray, including Comptroller John Liu and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. Liu called the mayor’s comments “just plain weird.”

Without naming names, Bloomberg accused critical candidates of “just standing on the steps of City Hall and trying to find opportunities to seize anything to create an issue.”

“I understand that we’re in a campaign season and everybody wants to do something right for their campaign rather than help us get out of this terrible situation where a disproportionate percentage of the crime is committed by a group of young kids that just don’t have any future,” Bloomberg said. “We’ve got to focus on that.”

 

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat


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