Bill Thompson wants one of his rival’s newest ads off the air.
Mr. Thompson demanded Public Advocate Bill de Blasio take down a television commercial because it states that Mr. de Blasio is the “only” candidate who will “end a stop-and-frisk era that targets minorities.”
“I think that if you look at Bill saying he’s the only one to end stop-and-frisk, that’s just not true,” an enraged Mr. Thompson told reporters at a press conference outside police headquarters at One Police Plaza. “To stand there and say you are the only one who will end stop-and-frisk and racial profiling; I’m out here talking about that today, and I think that, when you look at the ad, which The New York Times said is not true. I think Bill needs to take that ad down.”
“I think that both my positions as well as some of my other opponents’, he’s basically misstated that and is lying about that also,” he added.
The candidates’ vows to amend stop-and-frisk shows just how much the issue has resonated in the last weeks of the campaign. Mr. Thompson used to explicitly state he would not bar the controversial NYPD tactic, but, like Mr. de Blasio, curtail its use.
While both Democrats agree that stop-and-frisk should be altered, Mr. de Blasio is a backer of a pair of prominent City Council bills that are intended to bring further oversight to the NYPD and stop-and-frisk. Mr. Thompson, however, opposes the legislation, as he reiterated today,
“The truth is, in the end, this is about leadership and not legislation,” Mr. Thompson told reporters. “As mayor, I will end racial profiling, I will stop the abuses of stop-and frisk … I don’t need legislation to get that done.”
Reached for comment, the de Blasio campaign pointed to Mr. Thompson’s stances on the Council bills.
“In May Bill Thompson said there was an ‘over reaction’ to stop and frisk and won praise from no less than Rudy Guiliani for his position,” de Blasio spokesman Dan Levitan said in a statement “He has said he opposes legislation to ban racial profiling and create independent oversight for the NYPD. Another day, another position for Bill Thompson. But the facts are the facts.”
Instead, Mr. Thompson unveiled several new proposals, including having cops give written tickets to anyone stopped explaining the reason, ending the “de facto” quota system, removing Ray Kelly as police commissioner, and including stop-and-frisk numbers is CompStat crime reports–an idea that has also been touted by other candidates, including Bill de Blasio and Anthony Weiner.