New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is furious over a judge’s decision to appoint a federal monitor to oversee the NYPD’s Stop & Frisk program.
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Speaking at a press conference Monday, Hizzoner believes the ruling will harm New Yorkers in the long run. “There is just no question that stop-question-frisk has saved countless lives,” he said. “And we know that most of the lives saved, based on the statistics, have been black and Hispanic young men.”
“It’s worth remembering that as recently as 1990, New York City averaged more than six murders a day,” the mayor added. “Today, we’ve driven that down to less than one murder a day.”
Federal Judge Shira Scheindlin (pictured) ruled that officers have been making “unconstitutional stops and conducting unconstitutional frisks.”
“To be very clear, I am not ordering an end to the practice of stop-and-frisk,” Scheindlin wrote in her 195-page decision Monday. However, “the policy encourages the targeting of young black and Hispanic men based on their prevalence in local crime complaints. This is a form of racial profiling,”
Scheindlin also said that the city “acted with deliberate indifference toward the NYPD’s practice of making unconstitutional stops.”
The judge placed former city corporation counsel Peter Zimroth as the department’s monitor to control reforms. She also mandated a one-year test program that will require officers with the most stops per borough to wear body cameras. The cameras will serve to “alleviate some of the mistrust that has developed between the police and the black and Hispanic communities,” Scheindlin said.
Still, that wasn’t enough for Bloomberg, an ardent supporter of the policy. He feels it is an effective crime tool, despite statistics to the contrary.
“She ignored the real-world realities of crime,” and showed “a disturbing disregard for the good intentions of our police officers,” Bloomberg said in reference to the judge. The mayor plans on appealing the ruling, which he believes will place the city in greater danger.
“If this decision were to stand, it would make the city, in fact the whole country, a more dangerous place,” he said.
The ruling followed a nine-week trial stemming from a lawsuit the Center For Constitutional Rights filed against the city over the tactic.
In a parting shot at Bloomberg, Scheindlin said he isn’t in touch with reality: “The city’s highest officials have turned a blind eye to the evidence that officers are conducting stops in a retaliatory manner. In their zeal to defend a policy that they believe to be effective, they have willfully ignored overwhelming proof that the policy of targeting ‘right people’ is racially discriminatory and therefore violates the United States Constitution.”
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