New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg sparked outrage on Friday with a remark that police “disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little” compared with suspect’s descriptions.
Speaking on John Gambling’s WOR-NY radio show, Bloomberg made the comment while talking about two bills on Stop and Frisk that just passed the New York City Council. One would create an inspector general to oversee the NYPD and the other would make it easier to bring racial profiling claims against police.
In his full comments, he said that the appropriate comparison of NYPD stops isn’t to the city’s population but rather to the suspects’ descriptions.
“One newspaper and one news service, they just keep saying, ‘Oh, it’s a disproportionate percentage of a particular ethnic group.’ That may be. But it’s not a disproportionate percentage of those who witnesses and victims describe as committing the murders. In that case, incidentally, I think we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little,” Bloomberg said.
“The racial profiling bill is just so unworkable,” he continued. “Nobody racially profiles.”
Eighty-seven percent of the thousands of New Yorkers stopped and sometimes frisked were Latino or black. According to NYPD statistics, more than 90% of murder suspects were identified as being either black or Latino. Whites comprised 9% of police stops and were identified as 7% of murder suspects.
The group Communities United for Police Reform spoke out against the mayor’s comments, calling Bloomberg’s view misinformation and noting that most stops aren’t spurred by descriptions.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.