Bill O'Reilly defended what he readily called "racial profiling" in New York during his Tuesday appearance on Fox News' morning show, "Fox & Friends."
O'Reilly charged that Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposal to decriminalize small amounts marijuana possession had more to do with racial profiling than drugs.
Cuomo called New York state's current marijuana laws "inconsistent" since it's considered a violation to possess marijuana in private and a crime to show it in public. According to the governor's office, an overwhelming majority of arrests for possession of small amounts of marijuana occur in New York City, where the police department uses the extremely contentious "stop and frisk" policy.
“This is about racism," O'Reilly said. "This is a racial story, not a drug story."
O'Reilly said that city police use the stop-and-frisk policy —which is highly controversial because it overwhelmingly targets people of color and because the vast majority of people stopped have committed no crime) as a way of arresting individuals for smaller offenses when they are really after them for larger crimes.
"The cops know who the wiseguys are, who the dealers are, who the punks are, and they know who the muggers are, and they try to get these guys on anything," O'Reilly said. He said left hated the stop-and-frisk policy "because it is racial profiling," but argued that "it’s really criminal profiling."
O’Reilly later predicted that if street crime will rise if Cuomo's bill passes. "Mark my words," he said. "Street crime in New York will go up."