Public Advocate Bill de Blasio has called on Mayor Michael Bloomberg to reduce the number of unwarranted "stop and frisk" searches by city police officers.
During a speaking engagement at Astoria's Ravenswood Houses, de Blasio said he believed the tactic was creating distrust between some of the city's communities and law enforcement officials.
"This starts and ends with the mayor," he said. "This police tactic has gotten out of control under his watch and it's his job to bring it under control. The path we are on is making this city less safe."
The public advocate said NYPD officers made a total 680,000 stops in 2011 and that 87 percent of those stopped were black or Latino.
He also said he planned to launch an online petition calling for Bloomberg to issue an executive order to reduce the number of stop and frisks.
Representatives from the NYPD and the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association could not be reached for comment.
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