New York City
NEW YORK (AP) – Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s remark that police “disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little,” as compared with suspects’ descriptions, is prompting criticism from police reform advocates and some mayoral candidates.
Bloomberg made the comment Friday on WOR-AM. City lawmakers voted Thursday to make it easier to bring racial profiling claims against police.
Eighty-seven percent of the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers stopped, questioned and sometimes frisked in recent years were black or Hispanic. These groups comprise 54 percent of the city population.
Bloomberg says the appropriate comparison isn’t to the population, but to the suspects’ descriptions. More than 90 percent of killing suspects are described as black or Hispanic.
The group Communities United for Police Reform calls Bloomberg’s view misinformation, noting that most stops aren’t spurred by descriptions.
That’s what I’ve always suspected. The NYPD are deliberately SQFing a few extra whites and Asians than they otherwise would want to just to keep the civil rights jackals at bay. OTOH, the case could be made that the differential between those SQFed being 87% b+H and murder suspects (a good proxy for those who commit all sorts of violent crime) being 90%+ b+H is statistically insignificant.
But this is like the death penalty: Black groups complain of its “racism,” but the truth is that whites who are convicted of first degree murder are more likely, perhaps as much as twice as likely, actually to be executed than blacks who are convicted of first degree murder.