Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Sunday said that “stop-and-frisk” needs to be “amended, not ended.”
He took his message into a black church in one of New York's highest-crime neighborhoods to defend the police policy of street stops that has stirred outrage.
Critics say the “stop-and-frisk” tactic is racial profiling. Most of those stopped are black and Hispanic men.
He told worshippers at the First Baptist Church of Brownsville that "we can never forget who is being killed, and we can’t deny what neighborhoods they’re being killed in. The reason police officers make stops in Brownsville and East New York is not because of race; it is because of crime.”
Bloomberg said racial profiling will not be tolerated, but the NYPD can’t get illegal guns off the streets unless they go to areas where crimes are being committed.
The mayor conceded that he and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly need to do a better job of ensuring that stops are conducted properly and with courtesy. To that end, he said officers will get more training, and more supervision from their precincts.
Bloomberg, who was accompanied to the church by Kelly, added that the police are being retrained to conduct the stops with what he called "civility."
With the Associated Press