Presidential Candidate Gov. Gary Johnson Suggests Mayor Bloomberg Bring ‘Stop-and-Frisk’ to an End
April 23, 2012, New York, NY – During a stop in New York City Monday, presidential candidate and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson expressed strong concerns about NYPD’s “stop-and-frisk” practice, asking Mayor Bloomberg to consider bringing the controversial policy to an end. Johnson, who served two terms as Governor as a Republican, switched to the Libertarian Party last year. The Libertarian Party nominee will be on the ballot this fall in all 50 states.
Like Congressman Ron Paul, Johnson is a vocal critic of the Patriot Act and an outspoken civil liberties advocate. The ACLU has rated Governor Johnson the highest of all presidential candidates, including President Obama, on its Liberty Watch report card on civil liberties.
In a statement released in New York, the two-term New Mexico governor said, “Last year, almost 700,000 people on the streets of the city were stopped and subjected to TSA-style invasions of their privacy and fundamental civil liberty. 87% of those people were black or Latino. But these folks weren’t trying to get on airplanes; they were walking down the street.
“The America we need to reclaim is a place where you can leave your home and not fear being stopped by the police and patted down because of the way you look.”
Said Johnson, “I think this stop-and-frisk policy violates the Constitutional protection against ‘unreasonable search.”
“Two years ago, Mayor Bloomberg was one of the most aggressive critics in the country of Arizona’s immigration law – a law many, myself included, considered ill-advised and likely to result in profiling. At the time, he said that law was “bad for the country” and rhetorically asked, “Who wants to visit the Grand Canyon if you could end up getting hassled by the police?”.
“He was right about the Arizona law.
And if profiling is a problem for Arizona, what about a policy that appears to be resulting in precisely the same thing on the streets of New York?,” said Johnson, whose campaign for President will likely qualify for federal campaign matching funds this week.
“To me, though, the simple fact that almost 700,000 people were subjected to such a basic infringement of personal liberty, and 88% of them were neither arrested nor even given a summons, tells New Yorkers all they need to know about a practice that should end,” said Johnson.
“Yes, Americans want to be safe, and government has a duty to help provide that safety. But the pendulum has swung way too far, at the expense of too many fundamental liberties. Living at risk of being patted down by the police on the sidewalk simply because they don’t like the way you look is not the kind of safety America stands for.”