City Comptroller John Liu–one of the most left-leaning candidate in the mayor’s race–has long been a critic of the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk policy, which he believes should be abolished. But he took his criticism a step further today.
In a statement released earlier this afternoon, Mr. Liu equated the attitude officers use when stopping New Yorkers with George Zimmerman, the Florida neighborhood watchman who was found not guilty Saturday in the high-profile fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
In particular, Mr. Liu blasted Mayor Michael Bloomberg‘s response to the controversial verdict, which had largely focused on criticizing Florida’s “shoot first” laws.
“Mayor Bloomberg’s statement on Saturday’s verdict rings hollow. If he were truly concerned, he would realize that the same mindset that allowed Zimmerman to believe he was justified in following an innocent young black man permits the NYPD to justify the targeting of black and Hispanic youth in its stop-and-frisk operation,” Mr. Liu said.
“We must work to undo the misguided perception that black and Hispanic youth are guilty until proven innocent,” he added. “Just as states like Florida must repeal their dangerous Stand Your Ground legislation, the City must abandon its stop-and-frisk campaign.”
Mr. Zimmerman’s verdict has sparked protests across the country, including several large demonstration Sunday in Times Square and Union Square.
The mayor’s office declined to respond to Mr. Liu’s criticism.