Mayor Michael Bloomberg is running out of ways to defend rampant police stop-and-frisks in New York City.
DNAinfo.com reports that the number of shootings in the city has remained constant, despite the increased frequency of stop-and-frisks.
Last year police frisked 685,724 people in New York City, and there were 1,821 shootings, according to New York Police Department and city statistics. When Bloomberg was first elected in 2002, 1,892 people were shot and only 97,296 people were frisked.
But the mayor defended the program by claiming it has saved 5,600 lives.
“I think it’s fair to say that stop-question-and-frisk has been an essential part of the NYPD’s work,” he said.
However, the numbers he quoted refer to the number of murders, not the total number of people shot. The numbers DNAinfo crunched compare numbers of shootings rather than deaths.
“I make no distinction between murder and a shooting where someone’s hit,” a former NYPD official told the publication.
The program has not only been cited for its ineffectiveness, but also for allegedly targeting minorities and violating the Constitution.
“If you have a flat-line situation with shootings, and the stops are this high, you are throwing everyone up against the wall and you are losing the community, then you have to reassess,” the former police official said.
Bloomberg announced Monday that he supports a proposal from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo that would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana in public view. Thousands of New Yorkers are arrested for carrying marijuana after police order them to empty their pockets during random stop-and-frisks.