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House and Harold & Kumar actor Kal Penn, who previously served as an aide to the Obama administration, is voicing his support for New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg‘s controversial stop-question-and-frisk policy.
Earlier this week, a federal judge ruled that the policy was unconstitutional and called for the New York Police Department to adopt a written policy specifying where such stops are authorized.
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In a tweet posted Tuesday, Penn shared a New York Post op-ed penned by Bloomberg that states: “There is just no question that stop-question-frisk has saved countless lives,” fires off a slew of statistics and calls the judge’s intentions into question.
“Throughout the case, we didn’t believe that we were getting a fair trial,” Bloomberg writes. “This decision confirms that suspicion, and we will be presenting evidence of that unfairness to the appeals court.”
Engaging his Twitter followers in conversation on the topic, Penn called Bloomberg’s piece a “great op-ed on the merits of ‘stop-question-frisk.'” He goes on to call it “a good policy” and write, “Sad to see such activist judges ruling against public safety.”
Great op/ed by @MikeBloomberg on the merits of “stop-question-frisk”. http://t.co/QVeGVqlNDF
— Kal Penn (@kalpenn) August 13, 2013
In a series of tweets, compiled by TheAerogram.com, Penn’s followers took him to task over his opinions. One user wrote, “Why do you think it is a sound policy? The statistical data shows that the policy disproportionately targets blacks and latinos.”
Penn’s response: “And who, sadly, commits & are victims of the most crimes?”
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Bloomberg addressed the race issue in his op-ed, noting that “most of the lives saved, based on the statistics, have been black and Hispanic young men.”
Penn is no stranger to political activism. In 2007 and 2008, the actor served as an advocate for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign and became a member of Obama’s National Arts Policy Committee. In 2009, Penn accepted the role of associate director of the White House Office of Public Engagement and as a result, asked to be written off Fox’s medical drama House.
Penn left his post in the White House in June of 2010 to fulfill an obligation on the Harold & Kumar follow-up, A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, but returned as the co-chair of President Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012.
He has also appeared on How I Met Your Mother, and Tuesday tweeted that he’d be reuniting with his Van Wilder director Walt Becker for the CBS sitcom We Are Men.
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