The Vallone Zone Does D.C.
Peter Vallone Jr., chair of the City Council’s Public Safety committee, is fuming over the federal Justice Department’s support for a federal monitor over the NYPD.
Filling in for a traveling Mayor Michael Bloomberg on John Gambling’s WOR radio show this morning, Mr. Vallone, who is already fighting other measures to curb stop-and-frisk, blasted Attorney General Eric Holder for trying to “mess with New York City” by suggesting new police oversight in response to a lawsuit against the controversial policy. He specifically warned a monitor would lead to more shooting deaths.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg blasted a plan by the federal Justice Department to install a monitor over the NYPD on Thursday, arguing it would compromise the city’s crime fighting and put lives at risk.
“We think that a monitor would be even more disruptive than an IG,” the mayor said during an unrelated press conference in Long Island City, Queens, referring to a plan by the City Council to create an Inspector General over the department.
There can only be one “most progressive and consistently progressive candidate” in the mayor’s race, and two candidates–Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Comptroller John Liu–are in dispute over which one holds the honor.
“I think I present the most consistent progressive platform and I think it’s what people in this city want and need right now,” Mr. de Blasio said Monday morning during an interview on The Brian Lehrer Show when he was asked about his claim.
The Rev. Al Sharpton walked away unimpressed following Anthony Weiner’s first campaign appearance in front of his National Action Network in Harlem Saturday morning.
Mr. Sharpton, who met privately with the former congressman before they each took to the stage, worried about what he described as a lack of substance on the part of the candidates.
Blast From The Past
In a room filled with the grieving families of fallen cops, Mayor Michael Bloomberg once again lashed out against his wannabe successors who’ve been critical of the department–albeit less dramatically than his fire-and-brimstone speech last week.
During a memorial ceremony for six officers at One Police Plaza, Mr. Bloomberg said the NYPD should be celebrated–not attacked–and repeated his threat that future administrations may leave both officers and the public less safe.
The Fourth Estate
Yesterday afternoon, Mayor Michael Bloomberg fiercely condemned The New York Times for its lackluster coverage of the shooting death of 17-year-old Alphonza Bryant and its editorials critical of the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk policy. “Do you think that if a white, 17-year-old prep student from Manhattan had been murdered, The Times would have ignored it?” Mr. Bloomberg sarcastically asked himself. “Me neither.”
Several of The Times competitors took notice.
“Take that, New York Times!” New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin declared in an op-ed piece prominently featuring The Times‘ logo. “And thank you, Bloomy.”
Republican mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis believes “a robot” could soon end the debate over the police department’s controversial stop-and-frisk tactic, he said last night.
“The stop-and-frisk law is going to go away by itself,” Mr. Catsimatidis, a billionaire business executive, said at the New York Observer-sponsored event. “There’s new technology for the 21st century. It’s going to be a robot or a handgun that identifies if somebody is carrying a concealed weapon. And that’s going to happen, so the stop-and-frisk law over the next year or two will go away by itself.”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Council Speaker Christine Quinn may be allies, but they thoroughly disagree on Quinn-backed legislation that would install an inspector general to oversee the city’s police department. Accordingly, before speaking at an unrelated event this morning, Mr. Bloomberg delivered a lengthy speech blasting the bill.
“That’s not an Inspector General; that’s a policy supervisor, and I don’t think any rational person would say we need two competing police commissioners,” Mr. Bloomberg said, according to a transcript provided by his office. “There would be questions in the ranks of police officers about who is really in charge – and whose policies they should follow. That kind of breakdown in the chain of command would be disastrous for public safety.”
Earlier today, Talib Kweli spoke before a raucous police reform rally just outside City Hall, and he let the crowd know what he really thinks of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the way he encourages the NYPD to treat some New Yorkers as “second-class” citizens.
“I wrote some things down but I just want start by telling y’all that I came here today because I love this city,” Mr. Kweli said to begin his speech. “This is the greatest city in the world, that’s why I’m here today. But I’m here today because this city could be greater.”
In yet one more sign of the political winds shifting against stop-and-frisk, another candidate for citywide office has come out against the current practices of the NYPD tactic today. East Side Councilman Dan Garodnick, a top contender for Comptroller John Liu’s job in 2013, penned a letter to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly asking him to “firmly commit to revisiting this practice, reducing the overall number and disproportionate application of stops made each year and ensuring that stops are based on individualized reasonable suspicion.”