- In a Friday morning interview with CBS “This Morning,” 2020 presidential contender and former Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City falsely said he had never been asked about New York’s controversial policing policies.
- “Well nobody asked me about it before I started running for president, so come on,” Bloomberg told CBS’ Gayle King.
- Not only is it demonstrably false that Bloomberg was never asked or challenged over stop-and-frisk during his time as mayor, but the city was slapped with a class-action lawsuit over the policy and was rebuked in court.
- At an event in South Carolina in mid-November, Bloomberg apologized for stop-and-frisk policing, saying, “I was wrong and I’m sorry.”
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
In a Friday morning interview with CBS “This Morning,” 2020 presidential contender and former Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City falsely said he had never been asked about New York’s controversial policing policies.
As he prepared for his presidential run, Bloomberg publicly apologized for the city’s use of stop-and-frisk policing, a regime of policing in which officers had free reign to detain and search civilians who were not under arrest without a warrant.
Police stops not only soared 600% between 2002 and 2011, but stop-and-frisk also disproportionately targeted black and Latino men, with an estimated 86% to 90% of those stopped not charged with any criminal offenses during Bloomberg’s administration, according to the New York Civil Liberties Union.
At an event in South Carolina in mid-November, Bloomberg said, “I got something important wrong. I got something important really wrong…we could and should have acted sooner and acted faster to reduce the stops. I was wrong and I’m sorry.”
“Some people are suspicious of the timing of your apology,” CBS’ Gayle King pointed out to Bloomberg in the Friday interview.
“The mark of an intelligent, competent person is when they make a mistake, they have the guts to stand up and say, ‘I made a mistake, I’m sorry’,” Bloomberg responded.
“We don’t question your belief that you made a mistake, I think the question is the timing that you realized you made the mistake,” King replied.
“Well nobody asked me about it before I started running for president, so come on,” Bloomberg responded.
"I'm sorry. I apologize. Let's go fight the NRA and find other ways to stop the murders and incarceration. Those are things that I'm committed to do." pic.twitter.com/ww1pJPraBt
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) December 6, 2019
- Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images
Bloomberg has commented on stop-and-frisk many times over the years
In reality, Bloomberg had multiple chances over the years to apologize for the program and defended it as recently as this year.
Not only is it demonstrably false that Bloomberg was never asked or challenged over stop-and-frisk during his time as mayor, but the city was slapped with a class-action lawsuit over the policy and was rebuked in court.
In 2013, a federal judge ruled that New York’s application of stop and frisk policing amounted to a “policy of indirect racial profiling” in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the constitution, which protects against unreasonable search and seizure.
Here are just some of the examples of Bloomberg being confronted over or addressing stop-and-frisk over the years:
- In 2012, a group of activists conducted a silent march from Harlem to Bloomberg’s Upper East Side townhouse in protest of the policy, which Bloomberg addressed and continued to defend the day beore.
- Also in 2012, Bloomberg publicly defended the program, telling a congregation at a predominately black church that “we are not going to walk away from a strategy that we know saves lives. At the same time, we owe it to New Yorkers to ensure that stops are properly conducted and carried out in a respectful way”
- In 2013, Bloomberg wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post titled “Stop and Frisk Keeps New York Safe” in which he slammed the court ruling finding stop-and-risk to be unconstitutional and wrote, “When it comes to policing, political correctness is deadly.” He also acknowledged the program’s racially disparate impacts, writing, “The proportion of stops generally reflects our crime numbers does not mean, as the judge wrongly concluded, that the police are engaged in racial profiling; it means they are stopping people in those communities who fit descriptions of suspects or are engaged in suspicious activity.”
- In a 2013 radio interview, Bloomberg suggested that too many white people were being stopped, saying, “One newspaper and one news service, they just keep saying ‘oh it’s a disproportionate percentage of a particular ethnic group.’ That may be, but it’s not a disproportionate percentage of those who witnesses and victims describe as committing the [crime]. In that case, incidentally, I think we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little.”
- At an event in January of this year, Bloomberg said, “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.”