‘More murders, higher crime? Is that what the Times wants?’

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Following a New York Times editorial recommending the city adopt Philadelphia-style stop-and-frisk reform, Mayor Michael Bloomberg this morning wondered, "More murders, higher crime? Is that what the Times wants?"

This morning, The New York Times wrote:

New York should learn from Philadelphia, where the stop-and-frisk policy was the subject of a 2010 class-action suit for racial discrimination and violations of Fourth Amendment guarantees of freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. Like New York police officers, Philadelphia's were accused of using race as the basis for stops. Philadelphia settled the suit, accepting a consent decree that explicitly defined and prohibited illegal stops and put in place a court-appointed monitor to oversee stop-and-frisk practices.

Today, during a Coney Island press conference hailing the start of beach season, the mayor was asked his thoughts on the piece. 

"I've read today's New York Times editorial and I just have to wonder what kind of world they are living in," he said.

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"After the city of Philadelphia was sued by the ACLU and entered into a consent decree, murders and other violent crimes have gone up. Murder is up 10 percent in Philadelphia this year and other violent crimes are also up. Now, Philadelphia is a great city, but it has the highest murder rate of any of the ten largest cities in the country and the number of murders is going up. Somehow the Times failed to mention that. "

Unrelated, a reporter from the Daily News asked the mayor whether he was willing to back his expressed support for a higher minimum wage with financial support for politicians who back the measure.

Governor Andrew Cuomo recently said that minimum wage is even more politically fraught than same-sex marriage. But neither he nor the mayor seem inclined to put as much political muscle behind raising the state's minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $8.50.

"I can't go and support every cause in Albany," said Bloomberg today. "It's just not my job."