Big city news this week is that ahead of an upcoming Father’s Day march that will likely be the largest public gathering against stop-and-frisk to date, mayor Michael Bloomberg defended the NYPD’s policy this past Sunday at a Brooklyn church. For non-NYC readers, data drives the criticism. Last year’s numbers showing the gap between all stops and guilty stops reflect a decade of growing concern: of roughly 700,000 stops in mainly black and Latino neighborhoods, 90 percent were innocent. I’ve been covering stop and frisk since last fall and while Bloomberg’s address was the news hook, a more inconspicuous quote–one typical of how race talk can undermine both the pro and con stop and frisk positions–caught my eye. The church’s pastor, pointing out that it is wrong that so many of those stopped are black, says,
“We’re not the only ones carrying guns.”
That’s a curious construction, “we,” as I’m willing to bet that 90-year-old Bishop A.D. Lyons’ weapon of choice is a Bible, not a Glock.