Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer was among the officials at an “NYPD Accountability” rally this afternoon and strongly spoke about police stop-and-frisk policies. The Borough President, who’s a potential 2013 mayoral candidate, additionally embraced the fact that he was the only white elected official to speak out at the rally. “I wanted to be here today to add some color to what is going on,” Mr. Stringer began his speech, half-jokingly. “Because you can’t build a movement unless you bring the whole city together.”
“I have to say something that we have to put out there with the greatest respect for all New Yorkers,” Mr. Stringer explained. “You cannot close your eyes, as somebody who’s Caucasian, to the fact that of the 700,000 who are stopped, questioned, and frisked, 85% are African-American and Latino.”
Mr. Stringer then personally reflected on how his situation compares to that of other New Yorkers. He noted that he’s never been frisked by the NYPD himself, and that as the father of a young child, he won’t need to worry about his child’s future interaction with police. Unlike some city residents, when his young child becomes a teenager and goes to the store, Mr. Stringer said that he and his wife “will hope that there’s a cop on the corner”
“It just can’t be Latino people and African American people, people of color, having to discuss this,” he added to claps and cheers. “We have to discuss this. People like me have to discuss this. Elected officials like me have to discuss this.”
Possibly demonstrating some of the political salience of the issue, Mr. Stringer was hardly the only elected official aspiring for higher office to speak out at the rally. Councilwoman Tish James was introduced as a candidate for Public Advocate, while Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries also attended and is exploring a run for Congress. Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito, a contender for Speaker of the City Council in 2013, made the trek down to Central Brooklyn as well.
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