Stop-and-frisk has been a central topic in this year's mayor's race, and the leading candidates had strong reactions to Thursday's ruling that blocked a judge's order that called for changes to the New York City Police Department's stop-and-frisk program. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.
If you were wondering where Democrat Bill de Blasio and Republican Joseph Lhota disagree on policy, Thursday's court decision regarding the New York City Police Department's stop-and-frisk policy might be exhibit A.
"The second-highest court in our land did the right thing today," Lhota said.
"Obviously, I'm disappointed by today's court decision," de Blasio said.
De Blasio, of course, has been a vocal critic of stop-and-frisk, making reform a centerpiece of his campaign. He has long said that if he is elected, he would drop the city's appeal of Judge Scheindlin's ruling, saying that he agreed with court-mandated reforms, including a police monitor.
“I think what Judge Scheindlin did was correct," he said. "It was fair to say that we had a situation that could not continue. The specific remedies she offered were, I think, fair, and a first step towards the kind of reforms we needed."
"The only reason why he's disappointed today, as he said in his statement, is because the entire premise of his campaign just collapsed," Lhota said.
Lhota, who has sided with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly in defending the NYPD, said that de Blasio's approach is naïve.
"He's been on the wrong side of this issue right from Day 1," Lhota said. "He has no public safety experience. He has no, any experience at all. And in all honesty, his approach would make the city unsafe."
Lhota's charge that de Blasio would take the city backward on the issue of public safety has been one of most persistent themes of his campaign. Earlier in the day Thursday, de Blasio referred to that as fear-mongering, insisting that he intends only to build on the gains made during the Bloomberg years.