Jumaane Williams Denounces Stop and Frisk

The council member spoke out against Commissioner Kelly and Mayor Bloomberg for what he called their "absence of leadership for this city."

Council member Jumaane Williams, D- Ditmas Park, responded negatively to the NYPD's report that 203,550 stop, question and frisks have been conducted in the first quarter of 2012, almost a ten percent increase compared to the same period last year. 

He specifically spoke out against Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg for their "absence of leadership for this city," noting that young black and Latino men suffer every day as a result. 

"The majority of New Yorkers, despite Deputy Commissioner Browne's best spin tactics, are opposed to the NYPD's policy on stop, question and frisk," Williams said. "Every mayoral candidate has, in one way or another, gone on record to say that at minimum an examination of this procedure is needed. 

"The Commissioner and the Mayor are fighting against the present and the future of this city, who recognize that public safety can be improved without infringing on civil liberties. They are firmly in the past."

The New York Civil Liberties Union recently released data that shows that although they account for 4.7 percent of NYC's population, black and Latino men ages 14 through 24 accounted for 41.6 percent of stops in 2011. 

"The data also shows how terribly ineffective stop, question and frisk is in getting guns out of our streets and our communities," Williams said. "Since 2003, fewer than 0.5 percent of all encounters have resulted in finding a firearm."

"Mayor Bloomberg claimed on Friday, to my surprise, that this policy is working because guns are not being found," Williams said.

"By his logic, there can never be too many stop, question and frisks; if we find the guns, we need more and if we don't find the guns, we need more. When is it enough, Mr. Mayor?"

Caitlin Nolan May 15, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Councilman Williams went on to say that, "Commissioner Kelly still claims that elected officials such as myself have presented no alternatives to his stop, question and frisk policy." "I suppose he has not read the many editorials, letters to the editors and statements over the last several weeks offering potential solutions that would improve police-community relations, focus resources on high-crime areas and involve multiple agencies, such as the Department of Youth and Community Development, in a holistic approach to ending the gun violence crisis," he said. "It's time for him to engage with these proposed solutions and develop a public safety strategy that serves all New Yorkers." What do you think? Do you agree with Councilman Williams?


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