NEW YORK (CBSMiami/AP) — A mayoral candidate in New York is speaking out about the death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin and why he believes he was followed by George Zimmerman the night he was shot and killed.

Mayoral candidate Bill Thompson said Martin was killed because he was black and that the same bias drives the NYPD’s stop and frisk policy.

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The former City Comptroller, who is black, made the comments before a congregation at Abundant Life Church in Brooklyn on Sunday.

Thompson said New York City has “institutionalized” George Zimmerman’s suspicion with a policy that requires all police officers to treat young black and Latino men with suspicion.

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Every year, police officers briefly detain and question hundreds of thousands of innocent New Yorkers in an attempt to find weapons or drugs. The police department says the stops deter crime.

Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch leader, was acquitted of murder in the Florida teenager’s 2012 shooting death. He says he was acting in self-defense.

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