Bloomberg Confronted by Trump Supporter Over Stop and Frisk at Fox Town Hall: Is It OK to Also Call You a Racist?
Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg was confronted during a Fox News town hall by a Trump supporter who asked why the former mayor of New York City shouldn’t be called a “racist” over the NYPD’s stop and frisk policing policy if the President Donald Trump got labeled the same thing for equivocation comments he made about white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville in 2017.
For the first question of the Monday night town hall, moderator Martha MacCallum introduced a member of the audience, Daniel Rivera, as a Trump supporter, who immediately put the billionaire candidate on the spot with a question about moral equivalence.
“My name is Daniel Rivera, I’m a retired disabled service veteran and I was born and raised in Puerto Rico. Your stop and frisk hurt a lot of minorities in New York. A simple apology is not enough. If if it’s okay to call Donald Trump a racist because of his statements and I will give you the example, ‘Great people on both sides,’ would it be okay to call you a racist because of your actions as it relates to stop and frisk?”
“Alright, look,” Bloomberg quickly responded as Rivera barely finished his question. “What happens is we are doing it for a long time from the murder rate went from 650 murders a year down to 330 when we left which was so low — there’s no other city that I know of that is a low as that in the big city. What happened was about the third term, it started to get out of hand and maybe I wasn’t paying attention, but the number of stop and frisks went up dramatically. When I realized that, I cut 95 percent of them out. And I apologized for it, it was a mistake, you know, everybody makes mistakes, I made mine, I apologize for it. But the intent was to stop the murders of young men and women who are carrying guns or have friends where carrying guns or neighbors who are carrying guns. Or just strangers in the neighborhoods carrying guns. There is nothing — we did not pick on any particular ethnicity and the cops always went to the high crime neighborhoods and, in particularly, when a crime was reported. That’s what police do.”
That answer by Bloomberg contained two false claims, however. First, Bloomberg did not roll back stop and frisk policing of his own accord. It was only after federal judge appointed a moderator to investigate claims of racial profiling by the NYPD that the city began to dramatically decrease its use. Also, that same federal judge ultimately ruled that the policing tactic was an unconstitutional violation of civil rights because it did, in fact, target minorities, which is why the city officially abandoned the policy not long after Bloomberg left office.
This insistence on revising the history of the policy is not now. In other public forums, Bloomberg has continued to try to reflexively defend his administration’s rampant abuse of stop and frisk with phrasing that suggests he was somehow responsible for turning the city against the practice.
Watch the video above, via Fox News.
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