Critics of New York's "stop-and-frisk" policy have suggested that it overwhelmingly targets men of color, but Mayor Bloomberg still think it's necessary to preventing crime.
Before his appearance at the Puerto Rican Day Parade, Bloomberg addressed the congregation at the First Baptist Church of Brownsville to explain his position on the controversial policy. He did, at least, acknowledge that stop-and-frisk is in need of some revision.
I understand why some people are calling for the stops to be eliminated entirely, but there's no denying that the stops take guns of the streets and save lives. And to borrow a phrase from President Clinton, I believe the practice need to be "mended, not ended" to ensure that stops are conducted appropriately with as much courtesy as possible.
It's true that stop-and-frisk may prevent some crimes, but as NAACP President Benjamin Jealous notes, "Ninety percent of the people are so innocent that they don't get a ticket."
One way to amend stop-and-frisk? Decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
That's what Governor Cuomo proposes, with a law he introduced last week. Also marching in the parade, Cuomo said, "I believe [the law] will actually make a difference in terms of stop-and-frisk and ending some of the injustices in stop-and-frisk policies."
Meanwhile, Bloomberg is working to diversify the NYPD — because people of color unfairly stopping people of color makes all the difference.
[Image via AP]