MANHATTAN — Council Speaker Christine Quinn on Monday denounced comments made by Mayor Michael Bloomberg last week that the NYPD stops too many white people and not enough minorities as part of its controversial stop-and-frisk policy.
Bloomberg’s remarks came during a radio appearance last Friday. The mayor has defended his statement that police officers stop too many white and too few minority residents, saying that suspect descriptions, which he says are the basis for stops, are disproportionality young minority men.
“I couldn’t disagree more with what the mayor said,” Quinn said on Monday. “Stop and frisk is a policy whose implementation has gotten out of control.”
Quinn pointed to the recently passed police inspector general bill in the City Council as a positive step towards bringing the stop-and-frisk program under control.
“We can have both the safest big city in America, and a city where the police and communities are united,” Quinn said.
Bloomberg has promised to aggressively canvass City Council members to attempt to block an override of the guaranteed veto of the police inspector general bill, as well as a related bill that would make it easier to bring bias suits against the police.
Quinn says she’s “very confident” that council members who voted for the initial bills will continue support both.
The mayor is hoping to keep that from being the case. In particular, the bias legislation passed with only 34 votes. Were Bloomberg able to persuade even one member to change their vote, the two-thirds majority needed to override the veto would be lost. The mayor has promised to use the resources at his disposal—including his self-funded political action committee—to persuade council members, especially those seeking re-election.
“I think the mayor and his surrogates should be talking to council members about the facts as they see them,” Quinn said. “It should be a governmental debate, not an electoral campaign debate, at all.”