New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Friday slammed two City Council bills addressing NYPD oversight and racial profiling. Bloomberg insisted that "nobody" used profiling to target particular races.
One of the measures would create an outside inspector to monitor the New York Police Department in light of an "irregular" relationship with the CIA and amid lawsuits alleging widespread surveillance of Muslim communities and mosques.
The other measure would make it easier for New Yorkers unfairly targeted by police during controversial stop-and-frisk searches.
"These are bad bills. The racial profiling bill is just so unworkable. Nobody racially profiles."
Bloomberg said that “one newspaper and one news service, they just keep saying, ‘Oh it’s a disproportionate percentage of a particular ethnic group’" being targeted.
"That may be, but it’s not a disproportionate percentage of those who witnesses and victims describe as committing the murder. In that case, incidentally, I think we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little."
Incidentally, the claim did not originate with one newspaper or news service. The New York Office of the Public Advocate compiled a report on publicly available stop-and-frisk data from the NYPD that showed black and Latino New Yorkers constituted 84 percent of all stops, despite comprising only 54 percent of the general population, and were innocent nearly 89 percent of the time.
The same report found that whites were significantly more likely to be carrying guns or contraband. The NYPD uncovered a weapon in one out every 49 stops of white New Yorkers. By contrast, it took 71 stops of Latinos and 93 stops of African Americans to find a weapon. To uncover contraband, it took 43 stops of white New Yorkers, 57 stops of Latinos and 61 stops of African Americans.