Mayoral Candidate Invokes Zimmerman in Blasting NYC's Racist Policies

Only Black candidate in race compares NYPD policy to the suspicions that led George Zimmerman to hunt down Trayvon Martin.

By Chris Hoenig

Bill Thompson is known as a relaxed politician, more of a tamer than a tiger in the three-ring circus that is modern politics. But comments he made over the weekend are drawing national attention to the race to become the next Mayor of America's largest city.

The former New York City Comptroller—the only Black candidate in the mayoral race—slammed the NYPD's controversial "Stop and Frisk" policy, comparing it to the events that led to George Zimmerman's killing of Trayvon Martin. "Here in New York City, we have institutionalized Mr. Zimmerman's suspicion with a policy that all but requires our police officers to treat young Black and Latino men with suspicion, to stop them and to frisk them because of the color of their skin," he told supporters. "Trayvon Martin did die because he was Black. Of that there is no doubt."

The remarks are increasing the interest in Thompson, who is looking to gain ground in a race blown open by another headline-grabbing candidate (see: Weiner, Anthony). Throughout his career, Thompson has avoided the subject of race, admitting that discussing it was "not my first or natural instinct." But delve into race he has, assailing the NYPD for profiling "as Trayvon was profiled."

"If our government profiles people because of skin color and treats them as potential criminals," Thompson said, "how can we expect citizens to do any less?"

Racial Profiling by the NYPD

The police department's "Stop and Frisk" program is a key campaign issue in the mayoral race. It has been a point of contention for years, the subject of public criticism and multiple lawsuits.

Last week, Mayor Michael Bloomberg vetoed two bills that would have reined in the tactics—one that would have created an inspector general to hold officers accountable; another that would have opened the door for additional lawsuits against the city. Most of the candidates running for Bloomberg's seat support the installation of an inspector general or the abolishment of the practice altogether.

In 2012, more than a half million people were stopped as part of the program—and nearly 90 percent of them were Black or Latino, even though those groups combine to make up barely half of the city's population. Reasons for a stop can range from "wearing clothes commonly used in a crime" to "furtive movements," and from having a "suspicious bulge" to "suspect acting as a lookout." Most were innocent—only 6 percent of those stopped last year were arrested, while another 5 percent were given summonses for minor violations.

Firestorm at FDNY

Lawsuits claiming racial discrimination aren't left just to New York's Finest, but also to New York's Bravest. The FDNY graduated its most diverse class ever this week—but only because of a court settlement.

A 2007 lawsuit alleged the FDNY, which was 83 percent white at the time, illegally discriminated against applicants based on race. The city lost the lawsuit and a subsequent appeal, and as a result of a settlement, it allowed applicants from underrepresented groups who took the firefighting exam in 1999 and 2000 to retake the written and physical tests.

The 2013 class is 27 percent Black, 37 percent Hispanic and includes the most female recruits in more than 30 years.

Blonde Affirmative Action Strikes Back. Dopey Move by Nielsen Gives Administration a PR Black Eye in the Middle of the Border Crisis.

Incredibly, Homeland Security Trump Minister Kirstjen Nielsen goes to a Mexican restaurant in the middle of the border crisis.

While the Department of Homeland Security is separating children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, they have no problem enjoying Mexican food.

Read More Show Less

Video: Rep. Cummings Says What Every Non-Bigoted American Thinks About Trump's 'Zero Tolerance' Policy

"We will not keep kids in internment camps," declared Cummings."This is the United States of America."

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) expressed what compassionate, non-bigoted Americans feels about the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy on immigration — "We are better than that."

Read More Show Less

Judge Dismisses Charleston Shooting Lawsuits, Criticizes FBI

Survivors of the shooting sued the government over the failure of an FBI-run background check system to prevent the purchase of the murder weapon.


(Reuters) — A federal judge has dismissed 16 lawsuits filed by survivors of a 2015 mass shooting at a South Carolina church who sued the government over the failure of an FBI-run background check system to prevent the purchase of the murder weapon.

Read More Show Less

Richmond's J.E.B. Stuart Elementary School, named after a Confederate general, decided on using the name of the nation's first Black president as their break from hateful history's grip.

Read More Show Less

Steve Bannon, former White House chief strategist, said that slain civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would be "proud" of what President Donald Trump has done for Blacks and Latinos in the U.S.

Bannon was the CEO of Trump's presidential campaign. Trump gained supporters by calling Mexicans rapists, committing to building a wall between Mexico and the U.S., allowing Black people to be physically assaulted at his rallies and lightly disavowing the support of white supremacists.

"Martin Luther King ... he would be proud of what Donald Trump has done for [the] Black and Hispanic working class, okay?" Bannon said on "This Week" Sunday.

On Sunday, King's daughter, Bernice King, CEO of The King Center, re-tweeted a post from The Washington Post reporter Eugene Scott who referenced a similar claim Bannon had made previously. She included a response, simply stating: “Absolutely not."

In May, King tweeted:

Bannon said in March at an event with far-right French politicians that they should "wear" accusations of racism "as a badge of honor."

Let them call you racist. Let them call you xenophobes," he said. “Let them call you nativists. Wear it as a badge of honor. Because every day, we get stronger and they get weaker."

Bannon said on Sunday that he was “talking specifically about Donald Trump and his policies."

“His economic nationalism doesn't care about your race, your religion, your gender, your sexual preference," he said.

The Trump administration's “zero tolerance" immigration policy is currently separating children of undocumented immigrants from their mothers and fathers.

King tweeted on Sunday:

Video: ‘I Run This Country, You Guys Are Dead,’ Violent Trump Supporter Tells Black Man During Racist Tirade

"Is this the vision of 'Making America Great Again?'" Keoke Silvano, who captured the video, wrote on Instagram.


A white man with a reported history of violence was arrested for harassment and obstruction after going on a racist rant filled with slurs and saying, "White men built these streets!" After video of the incident went viral and the man was charged, he claimed to be the victim of harassment.

Read More Show Less

Video: California White Doctor Accuses Black Patient of Looking for Drugs

Racist banned from working at all hospitals in the Bay Area network.


Samuel Bardwell, 20, was rushed to the emergency room at El Camino Hospital in Los Gatos, Calif., for anxiety attack symptoms after collapsing at basketball practice. After three hours, Dr. Beth Renee Keegstra arrived with a security guard, accused Bardwell of looking for narcotics, mocked and berated him with expletives, yanked his arm and dismissed him with little help.

Read More Show Less