Ahead of a possible Democratic run for president, former Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg reversed his support of the “stop-and-frisk” policing strategy and apologized to specific demographics that were targeted.
What We Know:
- Bloomberg exercised, embraced, and defended the “stop-and-frisk” strategy for a decade which led to the disproportionate stopping of black and Latino people across the city. “I was wrong, and I am sorry,” Bloomberg said.
- On Sunday, Bloomberg addressed a black church in Brooklyn. He admitted and acknowledged that it led to the imprisonment and embarrassment of many Latinos and African Americans. “I can’t change history,” Bloomberg told the congregation. However today, I want you to know that I realize back then I was wrong.”
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is considering joining the 2020 race, apologizes in Brooklyn for the stop-and-frisk policy under his administration: “I was wrong. And I’m sorry” https://t.co/QwqPGrfpRS pic.twitter.com/XLFOynT7dY
— CBS News (@CBSNews) November 17, 2019
- The “stop-and-frisk” strategy gave New York police officers sweeping authority to stop and search anyone they suspected of a crime, even after a federal judge ruled in 2013 that it violated the constitutional rights of minorities.
- According to The Atlantic, “More than 4 million innocent New Yorkers were subjected to police stops and street interrogations from 2004 through 2011. Nearly nine out of 10 stopped-and-frisked New Yorkers have been completely innocent, according to the NYPD’s own reports.”
- Though he apologized, Bloomberg’s candidacy has not been deemed favorable by well known activists like DeRay Mckesson and Rev. Al Sharpton. “It is convenient that Bloomberg suddenly apologizes but has done nothing to undo the immense damage he has caused on countless lives. His apology is not accepted.” Mckesson says.
- Rev. Al Sharpton appeared on the above MSNBC segment to discuss his thoughts on Bloomberg’s apology. He also stated that Bloomberg called him shortly after his appearance to ask if he watched his speech. “You can’t expect people like us to forgive and forget after one speech,” Mr. Sharpton said he told Bloomberg. Sharpton says that he would hold him to the same standard as he does for former Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Bernie Sanders.
Reversing “stop-and-frisk” is just one of the measures Bloomberg has taken in the last two weeks as he enters into the Democratic Primary.