During a news conference Monday afternoon, a defiant Mayor Michael Bloomberg denounced
a federal judge’s rulingon the New York Police Department’s controversial stop and frisk program, claiming that the policy has saved lives.
Earlier on Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled that stop and frisk has violated the rights of tens of thousands of New York City residents. Opponents of the program argue that cops racially profile people, and Scheindlin’s ruling says police have stopped innocent people hundreds of thousands of times with no reason to suspect them of wrongdoing, according to The New York Times. Most of those who have been stopped have been black and Hispanic men.
Bloomberg vowed to appeal the judge’s decision, arguing that stop and frisk has “made New York City the safest big city in America” and that NYPD officers “don’t worry if their work doesn’t match up to a census chart.”
“As recently as 1990, NYC averaged more than six murders a day,” Bloomberg said. “Today, we’ve driven that down to less than one murder a day. … Stop, question, and frisk, which the Supreme Court of the United States has found to be constitutional, is an important part of that record of success.”
NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly called the notion that police officers racially profile people “recklessly untrue” and assured reporters that “race is never a reason to make a stop.”
He also said the NYPD is the most “racially and ethnically diverse police department in the world.”
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