November 17, 2019, New York – In response to former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s apology for stop and frisk, the Center for Constitutional Rights issued the following statement:
After three terms as mayor, when Bloomberg used his power to champion a policy that encouraged police to unconstitutionally stop Black and Latinx people at an alarmingly high rate, today’s apology is way too little and far too late.
In 2011, the NYPD, under Bloomberg, reported a record 685,724 stops. Eighty-four percent of those stopped were Black or Latinx, and 88 percent of the people stopped were neither arrested nor received summonses.
Almost two decades after the policy began and six years after a federal ruling that found the NYPD’s stop and frisk unconstitutional and racially biased, Bloomberg’s discriminatory legacy is still felt by Black and Latinx communities:
- A January 2019 report by the court-appointed federal monitor in our landmark stop-and-frisk case, Floyd v. City of New York, points to the large numbers of unreported and unconstitutional stops and continued failure of supervisors to effectively monitor their subordinate officers’ stop activity—all confirmed by the NYPD’s own data. These numbers show that the department continues to engage in conduct that undermines public trust and harms New Yorkers.
- A scathing June 2019 report by the Inspector General for the New York City Police Department that makes it crystal clear the NYPD cannot be trusted to police itself. Out of 2,600 racial profiling complaints that members of the public have made against its officers in the past four years, the NYPD internal investigators found every single one of these complaints to be “unsubstantiated,” an unthinkable result given all the recent high-profile incidents of officers violating the rights of New Yorkers of color.
- In addition to stop and frisk, the NYPD, under Bloomberg’s tenure as mayor, also engaged in suspicionless surveillance of American Muslims in New York and New Jersey solely because of their religious identity. A federal appellate court harshly critcized the Mayor’s discriminatory targeting of Muslims, likening it to some of the most shameful episodes in U.S. history.
Bloomberg’s long-overdue mea culpa, admitting that the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk practices were wrong, is falling on deaf ears for the hundreds of thousands of Black and Latinx people who were and continue to be victims of discriminatory policing in New York City.
The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at ccrjustice.org.