The controversy over New York City’s stop-and-frisk program, which was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge, continued over the weekend as Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin’s mother, declared on “Meet the Press” that the program was part of the same type of racial profiling that led George Zimmerman to pursue her son and shoot him in Florida last year.
“I think it’s all about laws,” she told host David Gregory. “You have to give, not only civilians, but the police officers the right direction. You can’t give people the authority, whether it’s civilians or police officers, the right to stop someone because of the color of their skin.”
Benjamin Crump, the Martin family attorney, said, “Arizona has SB1070, New York has stop-and-frisk. No matter what you want to call it, essentially it’s racial profiling. And we know Trayvon Martin was profiled that night, and he had broken no law, he was just walking home. That’s the problem: when you start this racial profiling, it’s a slippery slope. It’s so bad for so many in the community. Where does it stop? How do we protect our children when you give police or neighborhood watch authority to profile us?”
But New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly did his own Sunday morning politicking, going on NBC, ABC and on CBS to attack the decision by Judge Shira Scheindlin and declare that minority communities will be “the losers” if the ruling isn’t overturned.
Noting that 97 percent of shooting victims are black or Hispanic, Kelly said there have been more than 7,300 fewer killings in the 11 full years of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s tenure so far than in the 11 years before.
“Things are going right here in New York. And this decision certainly has the potential of overturning it,” Kelly said on ABC News’ “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”
If stop-and-frisk were abandoned, “no question about it —violent crime will go up,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
But Kelly’s comments brought an immediate response from NAACP President Benjamin Jealous.
“Just because there are more murders in our community doesn’t mean that you can treat all of us like we are guilty,” Jealous said on “Meet the Press.” ”… He’s just way off base.”