Congressman Jeffries Calls For Federal Monitor To Oversee Police Department
New York, NY – Yesterday, in response to racially charged comments by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries called for the appointment of a federal monitor to oversee the New York Police Department (NYPD) and its overly aggressive stop and frisk program.
"The NYPD stop and frisk program is out of control. It has resulted in the systematic violation of the Constitutional rights of hundreds of thousands of black and Latino residents every year,” said Rep. Jeffries. "These are individuals who have done nothing wrong. The people of New York City deserve effective law enforcement, not blanket racial profiling.”
Mayor Bloomberg has staunchly defended the stop and frisk activity of the police department in the face of growing opposition. During his weekly radio show on Friday, he referenced the homicide rate in the black and Latino community in defending the widespread police encounters. The Mayor added: "In that case, incidentally, I think, we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little.” These comments have sparked condemnation throughout the City.
"Michael Bloomberg's racially charged comments in support of the overly aggressive stop and frisk program make clear that the Mayor is incapable of providing objective oversight of the police department,” said Rep. Jeffries. “The only way to restore order and respect for the Constitution is for the Justice Department to step in as a court-appointed federal monitor to protect the civil rights of the black and Latino community."
According to data produced by the NYPD, approximately 90% of the individuals who were stopped and frisked in 2012 were innocent of any wrongdoing. Of the nearly 533,000 people stopped last year, approximately 55% were black, 32% were Latino, and only 10% were white.
Earlier this month, Congressman Jeffries sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, requesting the Department of Justice conduct a formal investigation into the constitutionality of the stop and frisk program. A copy of the letter can be found here.
Manhattan Federal Judge Shira Scheindlin presided over a recently concluded class-action trial where plaintiffs challenged the Constitutionality of the NYPD stop and frisk activity. The Court is expected to issue a ruling shortly, and Rep. Jeffries is urging the appointment of a federal monitor.