Mayor Bill de Blasio fires back at Michael Bloomberg over stop and frisk

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Thursday, February 27, 2020

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio fired back at former Mayor Michael Bloomberg after the presidential candidate once again addressed the city's stop and frisk history.

"We just did it much too much, and an awful lot of innocent people got stopped who didn't have guns," Bloomberg said Wednesday night. "It was my mistake, and I apologized for it. I've asked for forgiveness. But I can't rewrite history, and I've got to make sure we don't do it in the future. And hopefully my successor has learned the lesson from my mistake."

Bloomberg fired back on Twitter.

"'And hopefully my successor has learned from my mistake.' That's what @MikeBloomberg said on CNN last night. Everyone, this is the level of wealth-backed, self-centered delusion we got used to. His successor + thousands of others told him he was wrong FOR YEARS WHILE HE WAS MAYOR," he wrote. "There is a special narcissism to billionaires. They can't see like the rest of us. Here's what actually happened, @MikeBloomberg: I called for an end to your broken policies, got elected + changed them. None of us needed to 'learn' what we already knew. The people had told us."

Bloomberg first apologized back in November, shortly before launching his bid for the White House.

Despite reversing his longstanding support of stop-and-frisk, other candidates have reminded Bloomberg of his emphatic support of the policy as mayor even though it disproportionately impacted people of color. The believe it is simply an appeal to court minority voters.

The stop-and-frisk practice gave police wide authority to detain and search people even if there was no direct belief they committed a crime. Bloomberg aggressively pursued the tactic when he first took over as mayor in 2002.

Under the program, New York City police officers made it a routine practice to stop and search multitudes of mostly black and Hispanic men to see if they were carrying weapons.

Police claimed that people were only targeted if officers had a reasonable suspicion that they were breaking the law, but while the searches did lead to weapons being confiscated, the overwhelming majority of people who were detained and frisked were let go because they hadn't done anything wrong.

Many men found the encounters humiliating and degrading, and statistics showed that minorities were far more likely to be subjected to such a search.

De Blasio made ending stop-and-frisk a centerpiece of his first run for office.


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