De Blasio says Quinn shares the blame for stop-and-frisk
Minutes after City Council Speaker Christine Quinn released a statement saying today's federal ruling against the NYPD's use of stop-and-frisk "affirms what we have known for a long time," one of her rivals said she was partly to blame for the policy.
"Under the Bloomberg administration, with the acquiescence of Speaker Quinn, millions of innocent New Yorkers, overwhelmingly young men of color, have been illegally stopped," said public advocate Bill de Blasio, who is running for mayor against Quinn.
De Blasio was standing in the pedestrian mall at 44th Street and Broadway in Times Square, in front of a drum set and musical band, as part of a previously scheduled endorsement event with a musical union.
When I asked de Blasio why he included Quinn alongside Bloomberg in his criticism of the policy, de Blasio said it's because Quinn is Bloomberg's "closest ally" and that the City Council, which she leads, did "not intervene as stop-and-frisk was increasing over the years."
Earlier in the campaign, Quinn touted the work of NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly, and said she would try to retain him if she was elected as mayor. More recently, she pledged to fire Kelly if he did not sufficiently reduce the use of stop-and-frisk.
Quinn has also questioned the correlation between the usage of stop-and-frisk and the city's crime rate. (In a February 2012 letter to the NYPD, Quinn referred to stop-and-frisk as a "viable and effective crime fighting tool" and attributed the decline in murders in part to the policy.)
De Blasio took the judge's ruling this morning as an opportunity to highlight his position as the only mayoral candidate who supports two recent police oversight bills that narrowly passed the City Council. One would create an inspector general for the NYPD and the other would allow lawsuits against officers in the event of an illegal stop, which de Blasio refers to as a "ban on racial profiling."
De Blasio noted "several prominent Democrats, including Speaker Quinn, Mr. Thompson, Mr. Weiner," all oppose the bill to allow for expanded lawsuits, and that he hoped today's ruling would make them reconsider.