Ahead of Potential 2020 Run, Michael Bloomberg Offers Apology for Stop-and-Frisk Policing


Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, still very much pondering a 2020 presidential run, has now issued an apology for “stop and frisk” policing.

Bloomberg, according to the New York Times, apologized in a speech at the Christian Cultural Center today for a policy he had defended for years.

Bloomberg said he was “wrong” and added “I am sorry”:

Mr. Bloomberg, a billionaire who would self-finance his presidential run, acknowledged on Sunday that the program had led to an “erosion of trust” and he hoped to “earn it back.”

“Over time, I’ve come to understand something that I long struggled to admit to myself: I got something important wrong,” he said. “I got something important really wrong. I didn’t understand back then the full impact that stops were having on the black and Latino communities. I was totally focused on saving lives –- but as we know: good intentions aren’t good enough.

Per CNN, Bloomberg was defending stop and frisk as recently as this January:

Taking questions from the audience during the United States Naval Academy’s 2019 Leadership Conference, Bloomberg was told by a Naval Academy midshipman that “there have been a lot of controversies surrounding your support of the policy of stop and frisk that was being used by law enforcement to target African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans.”

“What would you say to those in the two communities that have been negatively affected by the policy that you supported in the past?” the midshipman asked Bloomberg.

“We focused on keeping kids from going through the correctional system … kids who walked around looking like they might have a gun, remove the gun from their pockets and stop it,” Bloomberg said. He added that “the result of that was, over the years, the murder rate in New York City went from 650 a year to 300 a year when I left.”

He also defended it in an interview with the Times in September 2018, saying in part, “I think people, the voters, want low crime… They don’t want kids to kill each other.”

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: josh@mediaite.com Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac