Mayor Michael Bloomberg lashed out at a judge's ruling finding the NYPD's use of stop-and-frisk unconstitutional.
"This is a very dangerous decision," he said, "made by a judge that does not understand how policing works and what is compliant with the Constitution as determined by the Supreme Court."
Bloomberg defended the practice — which he referred to as "stop-question-frisk" — as a lifesaver.
"If murder rates over the last 11 years had been the same as the previous 11 years, more than 7,300 people who are alive today would be dead," he said.
He angrily dismissed the criticism of Judge Shira Scheindlin, who found the NYPD's tactics were tantamount to racial profiling. "We want to match the stops to where the reports of crime are," Bloomberg said. "Victims and perpetrators of crime are disproportionately young minority men. That's just a fact."
"We go to where the reports of crime are," he added. "Those unfortunately happen to be poor neighborhoods and minority neighborhoods, but that's not the original objective or the intent or how we get there. We get there when there's a crime reported. And we will continue to do that. That is our obligation when it comes to crime fighting."
He reacted angrily to Judge Scheindlin's appointment of a federal monitor to oversee changes to the city's stop-and-frisk policy. "If somebody pulls a gun," he said, "and you want to get home to your family, you don't have time to say well now wait a second the commissioner said one thing, the monitor said another and the (Inspector General) said another. By that time you're dead."
When asked if the ruling would affect his legacy, the mayor turned caustic. "Almost 12 years now, people have walked the streets of New York City without having to look over their shoulder," he said. "I suspect probably that’s a pretty good legacy.”
Watch the mayor's press conference below.
Mayor Bloomberg Discusses Federal Court Decision
The press conference starts at 54:00.
Read the mayor's prepared remarks here.