Bloomberg takes shot at Philly with stop-and-frisk defense

Posted: May 25, 2012

NEW YORK Mayor Michael Bloomberg took a shot at the New York Times on Thursday and threw Philadelphia under the bus in the process.

Responding to an editorial in the Times that called Philadelphia’s court-ordered stop-and-frisk policy more enlightened than the Big Apple’s, Bloomberg fired back.

"Why would any rational person want to trade what we have here for the situation in Philadelphia?" Bloomberg told New York TV station NY1. "More murders? Higher crime?"

Bloomberg pointed out that after Philadelphia was sued by the American Civil Liberties Union and entered into a consent degree to make changes to the stop-and-frisk policy, murders and other violent crime went up.

"Now, Philadelphia is a great city, but it has the highest murder rate of any of the 10 largest cities in the country, and the number of murders is going up," he said. "Somehow the Times failed to mention that."

The Times editorial cited a 2010 class-action suit in Philadelphia targeting stop-and-frisk racial discrimination and violations of Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.

The editorial said that New York City should follow Philadelphia’s reforms. A federal judge criticized New York’s stop-and-frisk procedures this week, and the New York Police Department said that it would reduce the number of illegitimate stops through better training and oversight.

"I just have to wonder what kind of world they are living in," Bloomberg said of the Times’ editorial board.

Mayor Nutter said that settlement of the ACLU suit didn’t cause the spike in homicides. "What leads to an increase in crime is people with bad behavior acting like idiots on the street," he told reporters.

Philadelphia’s had 20 more homicides as of Thursday compared with this time last year, not counting the eight alleged victims of illegal-abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell.

Nutter, who called himself a friend of Bloomberg’s — they’ve partnered on anti-illegal-gun initiatives — backed New York’s mayor.

"I am here on the ground in Philadelphia," Nutter told a reporter. "With every respect to the New York Times, they don’t live in Philadelphia."

Contact Dan Geringer at 215-854-5961, geringd@phillynews.com or on Twitter @DanGeringer.

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