Sunday, June 10, 2012
NYC Mayor Bloomberg defends "stop and frisk" at black church - States 96% of shooting suspects in NYC are either black or Hispanic
NEW YORK - New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg took his defense of the police department's "Stop and Frisk" program to one of Brooklyn's highest crime communities on Sunday, championing the program from the pulpit of a black church in Brownsville.
Civil rights advocates, civil libertarians and a federal judge have criticized some aspects of the program as unlawful, abusive of residents' rights and disproportionately aimed at blacks and Latinos.
Use of the stop and frisk program - in which police stop and question people they suspect of unlawful activity and frisk those they suspect of carrying a weapon - has risen dramatically during the Bloomberg administration, to 685,724 in 2011 from 160,851 in 2003. About 53 percent of those stops resulted in physical searches.
With Police Commissioner Ray Kelly sitting in the front row of the First Baptist Church of Brownsville, Bloomberg detailed a flurry of statistics he said showed the program had saved minority lives while still lowering the number of people incarcerated from a decade ago.
He also countered the racial charge by reading the names, ages and communities of 10 New Yorkers murdered in the city during the first week in June.
"All 10 were young men. All 10 were black and Hispanic," Bloomberg said after reading the names. "Sadly, 96 percent of shooting suspects are black and Latino ... I don't have to tell you about black-on-black crime."
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