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Stop, frisk and marijuana

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.
June 4, 2012 1:35:10 PM PDT
You can get a case of political whiplash trying to figure out what's really going on with today's announcement from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, weighing in for the first time on the NYPD's controversial "stop and frisk" policy. Mr. Cuomo is now calling for the decriminalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The NYPD issued this directive last September - under pressure to ease its stop and frisk of hundreds of thousands of people - predominately young and disproportionately ethnic minorities.

So today, Cuomo made his announcement - which seems a slight slap at the NYPD - with Commissioner Ray Kelly by his side; in fact, Kelly kicked off the news conference. And then, after long defending the marijuana arrests as helping cut crime off before it gets into more serious offenses, Mayor Bloomberg reversed his position, and praised the Governor's initiative.

What's going on here? Is Mr. Cuomo coming down hard on stop and frisk? Is he giving a bit of political cover for the Mayor and Mr. Kelly, who have long defended stop and frisk, by offering them an it's-out-of-our-hands position?

We're digging into the story today and we'll have the new developments and perspective, tonight at 11.

We're also following Pres. Obama around Manhattan. Again. Mr. Obama is back in New York - not because he needs the political support (there's hardly a doubt about which way New York will lean in November), but because he needs New Yorkers' money. He has three fundraisers, and, again, the timing pretty much stinks for the President's re-election campaign.

Tough to make the case to raise millions for the campaign when the jobless rate rises and the number of new jobs plummets to an 11-month low. The bigger conundrum is hitting up the 1-percenters at big-buck events at a time when the 99-percenters are still struggling.

Clearly, no one in charge thinks that's much of a contradiction or a slight political problem.

I'm just sayin'.

We'll have the latest on the President's travels and fundraising, tonight at 11.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER

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