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Bloomberg Won’t Apologize For Remarks On Stop-And-Frisk

Rev. Al Sharpton Wanted Apology For Comment On Program And Race
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New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (file / credit: Kristen Artz / Mayor's Office)

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (file / credit: Kristen Artz / Mayor’s Office)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A defiant Mayor Michael Bloomberg would not apologize Sunday for his controversial comments about the NYPD stop-and-frisk program and how officers stop “whites too much.”

Bloomberg made the comments on his radio show on Friday. He criticized the news media for continually reporting that minorities are stopped more than whites.

“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,” Bloomberg said. “In that case, incidentally, I think we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little.”

The Rev. Al Sharpton said Bloomberg’s remarks about the stop-and-frisk program have served to polarize the city, and demanded an apology. On Sunday, Bloomberg said no.

“There are an awful a lot of kids that need help, and Reverend Sharpton would be better off rather than building his own political career to try to try to do that,” Bloomberg said, speaking at the annual Gay Pride March in Manhattan.

As WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reported, Bloomberg acknowledged, “Maybe I could have made the point more clearly.” But he refused to back down.

“The numbers clearly show that the stops are generally proportionate with suspect’s descriptions,” he said.

Bloomberg said the numbers don’t lie, citing record lows in the murder rate.

Some mayoral candidates, including African-American candidate Bill Thompson, have also spoken against Bloomberg’s remarks.

“To turn around after communities in the city of New York – black and Latino communities – that is the inappropriate use; the improper use; the misuse of stop-and-frisk that has caused so much pain and so many problems,” Thompson said Friday. “And then to turn around and say, ‘I’m sorry I didn’t stop more people’ – that’s the outrageous part.”

Thompson said Bloomberg’s comments were not worthy of any elected official, much less the mayor of the City of New York.

loomberg’s remarks came one day after the City Council passed a pair of bills that would establish an inspector general for the NYPD and expand the definition of racial profiling to include age, gender, sexual orientation and immigrant status.

At the center of the controversy is the city’s stop and frisk policy. About 5 million people have been stopped by the NYPD in the past decade, most of them black and Hispanic men.

Supporters hailed the legislation, saying it would make the NYPD more accountable. Critics – including Bloomberg – have said the bills would encroach on police techniques that have decreased crime and would hamper police.

Both bills passed Thursday with enough votes to override mayoral vetoes.

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