Rev. Al Sharpton, President of National Action Network and MSNBC host, is reiterating his call for New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to meet with Black and Latino leaders about violence, community-police relations, and stop-and-frisk policing, especially in light of the NY Times poll released this wek showing that a significant majority of New Yorkers say the Police Department favors whites over blacks.
Rev. Sharpton and National Action Network have said all along that mistrust was pervasive and he and NAN called for a Summit with Black and Latino leaders last month to show a cooperative effort, working together against violence. According to Rev. Sharpton: “We have people Occupying the Corners and trying to work with the city to solve the problem of violence, but the Mayor has yet to meet with the community around the spirit of cooperation. We asked for a meeting almost a month ago to no avail. We are occupying street corners because the people say police are biased and this poll proves that.
According to the New York Times: “That view, as widespread now as it was in 2001 during the administration of Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, is particularly prevalent among black New Yorkers, 80 percent of whom say the police favor one race over the other. A plurality of white residents – 48 percent – agree. Concern about police favoritism comes at a time of intensified scrutiny of the department’s extensive practice of stopping, questioning and, in many instances, frisking people on the city’s streets. Last year, the police made nearly 700,000 stops; about 85 percent of the stops involved blacks or Hispanics.” (NY Times).