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Mayoral Candidates Spar Over Stop-And-Frisk

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Joseph Lhota and Bill de Blasio are facing off over stop-and-frisk, as the Republican candidate for mayor is claiming a recent crime spike could be thanks to new oversight of the practice. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.

To Republican candidate for mayor Joseph Lhota, there is at least one reason for an uptick in shootings this summer: a federal court decision and a new law that requires more oversight and monitoring of stop-and-frisk.

"Do you know of any other particular reason why shootings have gone up?" Lhota said. "I don't know of any particular reason why shootings have gone up."

"We haven't even seen anything change in terms of the policy yet to even judge what the effect of the judge's ruling is," said Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio.

It was a clash waiting to happen. Bill de Blasio likens stop-and-frisk to racial profiling, while Lhota says more oversight of the New York City Police Department handcuffs police officers.

"The new and better relationship between police and community in a number of our neighborhoods is going to give our officers what they need most, which is information," de Blasio said.

"Please tell me that is not his answer to explain to the a mother of a child that was killed that we have to increase relationships," Lhota said. "What we need to do is to continue to have proactive policing."

The city says new court-appointed oversight of the NYPD is underway, but making any correlation with crime spikes is premature.

"I don't think we have enough information to say that there is a trend," Kelly said.

Lhota, though, is latching onto the issue, saying he's the candidate to keep crime down.

At a closed-door fundraiser on the Upper East Side Friday morning, some attendees said the issue of crime was bringing them to the Republican side.

"I am concerned, I think, with some of the ideas that are coming out of his opponent, Mr. de Blasio," said one person.

"I've seen what it's like when the police feel like the politicians and the community really is not supporting them in their jobs," said another.

Lhota's position on stop-and-frisk is getting him at least one endorsement on Staten Island, from Borough President James Molinaro.

"It's an honor and a privilege to have this opportunity to give my endorsement to John Lhota for the mayor of New York," Molinaro said.

It may have been diluted a bit when Molinaro got the candidate's name wrong.

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