In an interview with The New Yorker, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that he might reconsider his controversial “stop-and-frisk” policy if he had a son.
“If I had a son who was stopped, I might feel differently about it, but nevertheless,” Bloomberg said. “Maybe I was inelegant, but I don’t think anybody things I am anything but—I hope not, anyway—support of trying to help all people. With my own money as well as time, thank you very much. I’ve spent twelve years of my life doing this.”
The interview was in response to last week’s judgment by a federal court that the NYPD’s policy of stop-and-frisk resulted in thousands of racially motivated and unconstitutional stops of New York residents. Bloomberg has been outspoken in criticizing the ruling, in which Judge Shira Scheidlin appointed a federal monitor to oversee NYPD actions.
“What does she know about policing?” posed Bloomberg after the ruling. “Absolutely zero. Your safety and the safety of your kids is now in the hands of some woman who does not have expertise to do it.”
Bloomberg’s support of the policy prompted him to write an op-ed in The Washington Post in defense of stop-and-frisk.
“Every American has a right to walk down the street without being targeted by the police because of his or her race or ethnicity,” Bloomberg wrote. “At the same time, every American has a right to walk down the street without getting mugged or killed. Both are civil liberties—and we in New York are fully committed to protecting both equally, even when others are not.”