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Former New York Gov. Pataki: Stop-and-frisk tactic has helped city

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Former New York Gov. George Pataki on Tuesday defended the Bloomberg administration's use of a controversial crime-fighting tactic that's been linked to racial profiling, saying it's been a catalyst for New York City's decades-long turnaround from seedy to family-friendly.

Mr. Pataki said the city used to see thousands of murders per year, but is now on pace for about 300.

"It's in part because of stop and frisk," he told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

A federal judge on Monday ruled the New York Police Department has been conducting the program — in which people are questioned and searched for contraband, presumably because they may be involved in a crime — in a way that tramples on the Fourth and 14th amendments.

She appointed a federal monitor to oversee and reform the program.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NYPD Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly hit back at the ruling as unfair and misguided. They said their policy is saving lives and dedicating much-needed resources to low-income areas.

Mr. Pataki agreed. He told MSNBC the city should be commended, not overly scrutinized, for moving police into areas where many minorities live instead of ignoring them in favor of midtown.

"Why don't they look at Chicago?" Mr. Pataki said, noting the high rate of murder among youths in the Midwest city.

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