Contact: Matthew Sweeney, (212) 669-3747 May 9, 2012
NEW YORK, NY – Comptroller John C. Liu today issued the following statement in response to questions about New York City’s stop-and-frisk practices:
“When 700,000 people are stopped and frisked each year in this city, and 9 out of 10 have done absolutely nothing wrong, the mantra of Courtesy, Professionalism, and Respect becomes dubious. It creates an atmosphere akin to martial law, the very oppression that many people from around the world came to New York to escape.
“When the overwhelming majority of New Yorkers who are stopped and frisked are people of color, it’s hard to avoid calling stop and frisk what it really is — racial profiling. Being stopped and frisked is not a minor inconvenience; it is deeply humiliating and absolutely offensive when based on skin color. There’s simply no place for racial profiling, by the police or anyone. It’s not what New York City is about.
“While it is true that stop-and-frisk has gotten some guns and criminals off the streets, it’s also true that stop-and-frisk continues to deepen the chasm between communities and police, a relationship that is vital to maintaining a safe and secure city for all New Yorkers. Stop and frisk should be abolished.
“I certainly support the Public Advocate’s call for an internal examination of NYPD’s stop and frisk practices.”