New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg appeared at a black church in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn yesterday morning, and defended the NYPD’s highly controversial “Stop and Frisk” program.
Since taking office, use of the program has risen dramatically. Activists and community members have cried foul of the program, asserting that it is racist, abusive, and ineffective.
Bloomberg dismissed these concerns however, asserting that the program is in fact saving black and Latino lives.
“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.’
But, he insisted, “compared to a decade ago – and listen to this carefully because nobody understands what we’ve really done – 30 percent fewer people are behind bars than a decade ago.”
Bloomberg also said police reforms, including better training, oversight and study of the program, had already begun to address some of the complaints about aggressive behavior by officers.”
Was a black church an appropriate place for Bloomberg to defend the “Stop and Frisk” program?
Should the Justice Department investigate the NYPD’s treatment of people of color?
Sound off below!