Mayor Bloomberg's Lies About Racist Stop-And-Frisk Regime

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Whites were found to be in possession of guns, drugs and stolen property at twice the rate of Blacks and Latinos; why isn’t the NYPD stopping more White people? These charlatans have incredible chutzpah.

[Speaking Truth To Power]

Last Sunday, thousands of New Yorkers engaged in a march down Fifth Avenue to protest the New York Police Department's (NYPD’s) Stop-and-Frisk policy—which many minorities say unfairly singles out Blacks and Latinos.

Question: is the Stop-and-Frisk policy anything more than a racial profiling tool being used to criminalize Blacks?

Sunday’s march—similar to one organized by Reverent Al Sharpton after Sean Bell was killed when police fired 50 shots at him—was a silent march. N.A.A.C.P. President Benjamin Jealous said the strategy for a silent march came about after this year’s commemoration of the 1965 Civil Rights march in Selma Alabama.

Recently, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended the NYPD’s Stop-and-Frisk policy at a Black church in Brooklyn. Speaking to the Black congregation at the First Baptist Full Gospel Church of Brownsville, Mayor Bloomberg argued that the Stop-and-Frisk tactic had made New York City much safer. “We are not going to walk away from a strategy that we know saves lives,” Mr. Bloomberg said. “At the same time, we owe it to New Yorkers to ensure that stops are properly conducted and carried out in a respectful way.”

The mayor also claimed to be sympathetic to the anger many feel toward NYPD officers. “I understand why some people are calling for the stops to be eliminated entirely, but there’s no denying that the stops take guns off the streets and save lives. And to borrow a phrase from President Clinton, I believe the practice needs to be ‘mended, not ended’ to ensure that stops are conducted appropriately with as much courtesy as possible.”

In other words: Excuse me Black mine, could you please stop whether you like it or not so that I can frisk you?

In response to the charge that Stop-and-Frisk employs racial profiling tactics, the mayor said “Police officers make stops in Brownsville and East New York not because of race — it is because of crime.”

However, this claim is difficult to square by the statistics.

According to the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) in 2006 “Cops found guns, drugs, or stolen property on whites about twice as often as they did on black suspects.” However, in that year, NYPD stops of Whites represented a mere 11 percent all those stopped—and has remained virtually the same since then. Blacks and Latinos were stopped at far higher rates—a combined 86 percent of the time.

In 2011, the NYPD made some 685,724 stops. 87 percent of those stopped were either Blacks or Latinos—compared to 11 percent of Whites who were stopped. Blacks and Latinos accounted for 350,743 and 223,740, respectively, of those stops. Whites were stopped 61,805 times.

The NYCLU stated that 88 percent of those stopped “were totally innocent” of any crime. The NYCLU 2011 report found that “Black and Latino New Yorkers were more likely to be frisked than whites and, among those frisked, were less likely to be found with a weapon.”

The report also found that, in 2011, “Of those frisked, a weapon was found only 1.9 percent of the time.” Moreover, white were “twice as likely to be found with guns.” Guns were found on Blacks and Latinos only 1.8 percent of the time. Whites were found with guns 3.8 percent of the time. Whites were also found to be more likely to be in possession of drugs and stolen property.

During the mayor’s speech to the Brooklyn parishioners, he said fighting crime by “census numbers” would cause fewer firearms to be recovered and would “allow more violent crimes to take place.” He also told the congregation that “I don’t need to tell you about Black-on-Black crime.”

Indeed, we don’t need Mayor Bloomberg to tell us about the systematic orchestration of Black-on-Black crime. And, with all due respect, his patronizing comments show utter disregard for the injustices being perpetrated on innocent Black and Latino New Yorkers by the NYPD. Given these sobering statistics how can he have the temerity to speak such falsehoods to us?

This mayor came into a Black church and told our people an assortment of half-truths and bald-faced lies. And worse of all, he engaged in mendacious fear-mongering aimed at petrifying the most vulnerable elements in our community: women and the elderly. This aspect of his speech went way beyond the pale.

If this mayor is trying to convince us he cares so much about crime in minority communities, why doesn’t he tell us what he plans to do to revamp our crumbling schools? And what is he doing to promote job creation—especially as it pertains to the legions of unemployed young Black men? How about affordable housing for minority people Mr. Bloomberg? The truth is: this out-of-touch billionaire doesn’t give a damn about our people.

Now, the time has come for every person of color—and others of conscience—to protest the utter nonsense and hypocrisy of these phony “law and order” folks. “Law and Order” for them means: keep Black people powerless and defenseless. And, that is why they legislate “laws” to corral people of color. Isn’t it clear that racist police tactics, like Stop-and-Frisk are designed to achieve exact those ends?

If Whites were found to be in possession  of guns, drugs and stolen property at twice the rate of Blacks and Latinos—even though Whites were only stopped around 10 percent of the time—then doesn’t it beg this question: why isn’t the NYPD stopping more White people?

Think of it, when have any of these so-called political leaders ever been accountable to minority communities for the repeated harassment and murders by the police? Yet, there was the mayor, and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, standing before church people asking for help to continue oppressing these communities. These charlatans have incredible chutzpah.

These political con-artists play dastardly tricks on these communities of color. And, we must denounce those people —including flaky Judas preachers—who for 30 pieces of silver sellout people of color. How dare this mayor talk about "mending not ending"? Shouldn’t racism be ended?

To end these racist police practices, people of color must attain political self-determination. Police profiling and prejudice, against minorities, won’t end until those who police the communities are accountable to people who live there. People with no connections to the communities —and live elsewhere outside the City—must no longer decide policing policy in communities of color?

Panther and Black liberation fighter Dhoruba bin Wahad is correct. A police decentralization movement in Black and Latino communities must be launched if Stop-and-Frisk and all the other oppressive and destructive policies slick politicians like Mayor Bloomberg enact are to stop.

"Speaking Truth To Empower."

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