State Assemblyman David Weprin’s (D-Little Neck) vote to deny the city Police Department use of a stop-and-frisk database has come under fire from his primary opponent, Glen Oaks Village President Bob Friedrich, who said the law makes communities less safe.
The database is a list of people who have been stopped and frisked by police, whether they had been arrested or not.
Friedrich called Weprin’s vote “anti-cop.”
“Weprin’s vote to deny the police the use of this electronic data will make it more difficult for them to investigate crime,” Friedrich said. “David Weprin has effectively handcuffed our cops, putting them and our most vulnerable communities at greater risk.”
Weprin said he stands behind his vote and said there is anecdotal evidence the database was discriminatory toward blacks and Latinos.
“I’m very proud of the vote I voted on,” he said. “There’s a legitimate civil liberty issue. I think it infringes on people’s right to privacy. It’s the right thing to do and shame on Bob for criticizing that.”
Weprin suggested that if Friedrich supports the database, he should submit his own information to police.
Friedrich attacked Weprin for siding with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) and state Sen. Eric Adams (D-Brooklyn) instead of Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who said the database was a useful crime-fighting tool.
“Rather than standing up to the party leadership, David Weprin has put party politics ahead of community safety,” Friedrich said. “It is this blind party loyalty that is so disturbing.”
But Weprin said party loyalty had nothing to do with his decision and noted he was endorsed by the city Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association in his special election victory against Friedrich in February.
“In this case, I think [Kelly and Bloomberg] are wrong,” he said.
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4573.
©2010 Community News Group
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