After Public Advocate Bill de Blasio announced his platform for reducing the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk tactics yesterday afternoon, Mayor Bloomberg’s office responded rather sharply, stating through Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson, “Mr. de Blasio may be nostalgic for the days when the ACLU set crime policy in this city, but most New Yorkers don’t want rampant crime to return.” Although he had already responded through a spokesman, Mr. de Blasio pushed back even further on the criticism in a conference call with reporters earlier this morning.
“The thousands and thousands of people demanding a response here would like to see the mayor talk about their response, instead of bluntly this very crass counterattack we saw yesterday, which did not in any way shape or form address the issue,” Mr. de Blasio said, while stating that the mayor “is turning a blind eye” towards mounting criticism.
However, when we asked, Mr. de Blasio admitted the mayor’s response may have elevated the issue further and helped his own advocacy on the issue.
“I do think the arrogance of his response has pointed out that the mayor is not taking it seriously,” he told The Politicker. “I’m sure it’s going to get more and more folks [involved] who would like to see a change.”
Mr. de Blasio’s announcement yesterday has also elevated the positions of some of his fellow 2013 mayoral contenders, including Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer who’s been previously rather vocal on the issue and Comptroller John Liu, who came out with the most radical plan of the bunch, calling for a complete ban on the police tactic.
Mr. de Blasio wasn’t impressed with Mr. Liu’s plan, however.
“Stop-and-frisk used in the right measure is an incredibly important crime fighting tool,” he said in response to another reporter’s question on the topic. “I disagree thoroughly with anyone who says we’ve got to ban it.”