While discontent with New York City’s stop-and-frisk policing tactic has emerged as a central issue in the Democratic mayoral primary, the leading Republican candidates on Wednesday said they would not mind if their own son or daughter were stopped and frisked by the police.
In a live televised debate, John A. Catsimatidis, the billionaire owner of the Gristedes supermarket chain, described the stops as a “temporary thing,” until technology allowed officers to detect guns from afar. And while he said rookie officers should receive additional training, he shrugged off the prospect of his son being stopped. “I would say to him, ‘Well, what did you do to provoke it?’ ” he said. “I would say to him, ‘Were you dressed funny? Were you walking funny? Did you look funny?’ ” He added of the policing tactic, “I would sit down, have a father-to-son talk with him and say to him that we need it.”
Joseph J. Lhota, a former chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and deputy mayor to Rudolph W. Giuliani, was also undeterred, saying that he would explain to his daughter the legal basis for the stops. “If they did not follow the rules of the Supreme Court, I would actually say that we have a situation here,” Mr. Lhota said. “But the reality is 90 percent of all of the millions of stops that have happened in the City of New York have happened in compliance with the constitutional rights that have been put forward by the Supreme Court.”