Last week, Mayor Bloomberg visited the John Gambling show on WOR Radio. One of the topics he discussed during the visit was class action lawsuit Davis v. City of New York. The case was filed by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, INC (“LDF”) and the Legal Aid Society due to the NYPD’s practice of unlawfully stopping and arresting public housing residents and guests for trespassing.
The Mayor didn’t speak in defense of the harassment of public housing residents instead he suggested implementing a fingerprinting system to enter public housing of residents and guests to help lower crime. Building doors of public houses are known to be broken so the Mayor suggested the fingerprint program as a measure to lower crime.
The idea was an extremely poor one for the Mayor being the majority of residents in public housing are Black and Latino. Recently, the stop-and-frisk program of the NYPD was deemed unconstitutional by a federal judge, a program that allowed the random search of NYC citizens to prevent crime. The majority of individuals searched under the program were of Black and Latino decent.
Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund spoke out against Bloomberg’s comments:
“Mayor Bloomberg’s derogatory statements about public housing residents are an outrage. Families live in public housing apartments, not criminals. Public housing residents, as well as their friends and family members visiting them, deserve the same level of respect from our Mayor as any other New York City resident. They should not be treated like prisoners in their own homes.”
Following the radio interview, Bloomberg’s spokesman explained the city’s plans to install electronic key pads and key card locks to improve security. No mention however of a fingerprinting system. However in the statement he did say fingerprint scan technology is a growing technology, a feature becoming more common in even smartphones.
Written By Dru Ashe (@ShottaDru)