Our VoiceCulture

NYC Mayor Threatens to Veto Bills that Protect Citizens from “Stop & Frisk”

Kalia Abiade • Jul 02, 2013

Last week, the New York City Council voted to approve police oversight bills meant to end discriminatory policing that critics say have unfairly and unconstitutionally targeted the city’s communities of color.

 The decisions to pass the Community Safety Act and to create an Inspector General position are reactions to NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy, widespread surveillance of Muslim communities and other documented instances of racial, ethnic and religious profiling in the years since 9/11. 

These measures come as the city awaits a verdict in the federal class-action lawsuit that challenges NYPD’s racial profiling practices, including stop-and-frisk. The city and police department are also facing lawsuits challenging the Muslim surveillance program. 

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has vowed to veto the bills and — despite statistics that show the number of young black men stopped by New York police exceeded the number of young black men who actually live in the city — said whites were the ones stopped too often. 

“I think we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little. It’s exactly the reverse of what they say,” Bloomberg said during a radio segment Friday. “I don’t know where they went to school, but they certainly didn’t take a math course. Or a logic course.”

NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, who has repeatedly voiced opposition to the measures, also reacted predictably. “Take heart, al-Qaeda wannabes, because the City Council has found a way to undermine our partners,” he said.

Communities United for Police Reform, the group that led the effort to pass the Community Safety Act, praised the city council’s decision.

“Today’s vote is a victory for democracy, civil rights, public safety, and all who live in our city. It brings us one step closer to achieving true equality and closing the door on discriminatory policies that are remnants of the past and counterproductive to safety. While some would rather use the politics of fear to defend discrimination and inequality, the City Council is looking and moving forward with public support to help our city progress and protect New Yorkers. We applaud council members for standing up for the people they represent and sound public policy, rather than political expediency.”

Kelly and Bloomberg’s reckless reactions and continued opposition to the Community Safety Act and the establishment of an Inspector General reaffirm the need for stronger oversight. The passage of an enforceable ban on profiling and discrimination by the NYPD is just a step toward a safer city for all residents and toward more accountability from city officials.

Imagine 2050 Newsletter

  • translate

    English • Afrikaans • العربية • Беларуская • Български • Català • Česky • Cymraeg • Dansk • Deutsch • Eesti • Ελληνικά • Español • فارسی • Français • Gaeilge • Galego • हिन्दी • Hrvatski • Bahasa Indonesia • Íslenska • Italiano • עברית • Latviešu • Lietuvių • 한국어 • Magyar • Македонски • മലയാളം • Malti • Nederlands • 日本語 • Norsk (Bokmål) • Polski • Português • Română • Русский • Slovenčina • Slovenščina • Shqip • Srpski • Suomi • Svenska • Kiswahili • ไทย • Tagalog • Türkçe • Українська • Tiếng Việt • ייִדיש. • 中文 / 漢語