What better time than an election campaign start to repent sins? Former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg probably thought so as he apologized at a black church for the controversial ‘stop and frisk’ policy, but few were buying it.
A billionaire media mogul and a former New York mayor, Michael Bloomberg has suddenly backtracked on his longstanding support for the controversial ‘stop and frisk’ police policy he adamantly backed during his time as mayor.
The questionable practice involving police briefly detaining, questioning and sometimes searching random people on the streets for weapons or other illegal possessions was particularly robust during the times when Bloomberg was mayor. Between 2003 and 2013, over 100,000 stops were made each year on average, with that number peaking in 2011 up to more than 685,000.
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The program was criticized over racial profiling as it predominantly targeted African Americans and Hispanic Americans while many of those stopped were later found to be innocent. Such practices have hardly earned Bloomberg many friends among those communities but the billionaire seemingly could not care less about this fact – until right now.
Bloomberg who is mulling his entrance to an already tight race for the Democratic 2020 presidential nomination – supposedly out of concern that “progressives” like Bernie Sanders would not provide sufficient competition to Donald Trump – has suddenly seen the light.
“I was wrong,” Bloomberg told a black church in Brooklyn, lamenting the fact that he “can’t change history.” “I apologize,” he added.
In January, he still argued that the policy he backed and expanded as mayor, helped reduce the murder rate in New York, although these claims were disputed by some NGOs like the Equal Justice Initiative fighting against mass incarceration.
Stop-and-frisk under Bloomberg was a failed policy by any conceivable metric. Crime in every major category continued to plummet even as the number of stop-and-frisks was drastically reduced, rendering the logic Bloomberg used to justify the policy during his tenure 100% wrong pic.twitter.com/sMh4FNhfDA
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) November 17, 2019
So not many people actually bought into his emotional repentance on Sunday, turning to social media to remind the billionaire that he had plenty of time to admit his mistakes.
So Bloomberg is NOW apologizing for his defense of stop-and-frisk, in time for his likely presidential run? Nah, bruh. We see through this. You could have done this two years ago, one year ago. But now? Don’t try to play us. https://t.co/xt8LtkfzzF
— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) November 17, 2019
This walk back by Bloomberg, who was defending stop-and-frisk as late as last fall, is one of the fakest things I’ve ever seen in politics. https://t.co/TOASYGkdie
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) November 17, 2019
Others simply linked his sudden change of heart to his plans to run for president and an apparent need to sway black voters.
Oh, now @MikeBloomberg apologizes. For years, he has defended ”stop-and-frisk,” the racially discriminatory and ineffective police tactic that he backed and expanded as NYC’s mayor. Now that he is running for president and needs black votes, he’s sorry. https://t.co/Sgf6RlXwCx
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) November 17, 2019
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