On the defense after the City Council passed a pair of bills designed to curb the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk tactic and other alleged abuses, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said today that his critics had it backwards when they accuse the police of stopping too many black and Latino men. In fact, he bluntly declared the opposite to be true if viewed through a lens of who commits murders.
“I think we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little,” Mr. Bloomberg argued during his Friday morning WOR radio show with John Gambling. “It’s exactly the reverse of what they say. I don’t know where they went to school but they certainly didn’t take a math course. Or a logic course.”
Mr. Bloomberg, repeating a line similar to one Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has used before, was contending that the NYPD’s stops should be compared to the racial breakdown of murder suspects, not the the city’s overall demographics.
“They just keep saying, ‘Oh, it’s a disproportionate percentage of a particular ethnic group,’” Mr. Bloomberg said, dismissively. “That may be, but it’s not a disproportionate percentage of those who witnesses and victims describe as committing the murder.”
The mayor has been mounting an aggressive campaign since the City Council passed the Community Safety Act with veto-proof majorities earlier this week. When and if the veto override occurs, the bills will install an NYPD inspector general and expand the definition of racial profiling to include categories like gender identity and housing status.
But Mr. Bloomberg and Mr. Kelly insist the bills will hamper the police department’s operations, ultimately resulting in more murders across the five boroughs.
“Unfortunately, I can’t give you the list of names of who would have been killed,” Mr. Bloomberg said, touting the city’s record-low murder rate and attributing it to NYPD tactics like stop-and-frisk. “I suspect if you can get that list from God or something, you’d have a lot of people saying, ‘What are you crazy?’”
Update (10:40 a.m.): The Mayor’s office reached out to Politicker to provide the racial breakdown of murder suspects, which they said were more than 90 percent black or Latino. In contrast, 87 percent of stops are black or Latino. Whites are 9 percent of stops and 7 percent of murder suspects.