NEW YORK — “Ranking Adams means resurrecting stop and frisk.”
That was the message from activists like Kirsten John Foy Wednesday, who gathered to call out mayoral candidate Eric Adams for his comments about the controversial police tactic on PIX11’s mayoral forum last week.
Adams, a former NYPD officer running for mayor, said on PIX11 that community outrage over stop and frisk is misplaced, and that it’s not a bad policy, it had just been abused.
“My police officers, if there’s a belief there’s a crime, they’re going to stop, they’re going to question it, that’s it,” he said at the event. “Many believe that stop and frisk was the problem, no — it was the abuse by police officers.”
But activists Wednesday took issue with his claim.
“Stop without reasonable suspicion is unconstitutional and violates the fourth amendment,” said attorney Sanford Rubenstein.
Rubenstein joined community leader Foy to urge New Yorkers not to vote for Adams, and to skip his name when ranking their top 5 candidates when filling out their ranked choice voting ballot.
“The Black Lives Matter movement was born out of the movement to end stop, question and frisk,” Foye said.
Stop and frisk is a police practice where officers temporarily detain, question, and sometimes search people on the street. During its height in 2011, the New York Civil Liberties Union found 685,000 people were stopped that year. Black and Latino New Yorkers were stopped at the highest rates.
Nine out of 10 people who were stopped and frisk were completely innocent, the NYCLU found.
Through his campaign for mayor, Adams has maintained stop and frisk is an effective too when used legally. And on the campaign trail, he stood firm, saying he fought for years to reduce the number of stops.
“Can you imagine the audacity of some people to say Eric Adams had no role and stopping the overt abuse of stop and frisk,” Adams said.
Still, the advocates outside Adams’ campaign office insisted any form of stop and frisk is a step back from recent police reforms.