Mayor Bloomberg does not have kind words for the City of Brotherly Love.
Responding to a New York Times editorial suggesting the NYPD fix stop-and-frisk abuses by taking a cue from Philadelphia's policies on Thursday, Bloomberg slammed the city's crime statistics and asked:
Why would any rational person want to trade what we have here for the situation in Philadelphia — more murders, higher crime?
Wednesday's editorial pointed to a 2010 class-action suit concerning Philadelphia's stop-and-frisk practices in which the city eventually settled, "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."
But as predicted, Bloomberg defended the NYPD's program and added, "I can assure you we will not turn the Police Department over to the NYCLU."
The mayor has been a staunch supporter of the NYPD's controversial stop-and-frisk program and has blamed the media for biased coverage leading to the unpopularity of the practice saying "if you were to ever do a balanced story, I think you'd find that it's a minority of people who don't like the tactic."
Civil rights advocates gained monumental traction recently, when a federal judge granted class-action status to a lawsuit alleging the NYPD's practice was racially biased.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, who has also unwaveringly defended the use of stop-and-frisks, responded by sending a letter to City Council Speaker Christine Quinn detailing the department's intention to change some aspects of the policy, specifically to reiterate the prohibition of racial profiling.
Although a step forward, many opponents of the program say the police commissioner's move was simply a public relations attempt.