Former New York Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergDemocrats face bleak outlook in Florida Without drastic changes, Democrats are on track to lose big in 2022 Bidens, former presidents mark 9/11 anniversary MORE apologized on Sunday for backing the “stop-and-frisk” policing strategy ahead of a possible 2020 Democratic presidential campaign, The New York Times reported.
“I was wrong,” he said at the Christian Cultural Center, a black megachurch in Brooklyn, according to the Times. “And I am sorry.”
Bloomberg said his support of the policy caused an “erosion of trust” and added that he hoped he could “earn it back.” The former mayor maintained he was focused on “saving lives,” and didn’t realize the impacts of the policing method on black and Latino communities, according to the Times.
“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,” he added, the newspaper noted.
Bloomberg had consistently defended the policing strategy, which allowed New York officers to stop and search anyone they suspected of committing a crime. Black and Latino people were nine times as likely as white people to be stopped by police, although no more likely to be arrested, the Times reported in May 2010.
Some critics, like civil rights activist Shaun King, saw Bloomberg’s apology on Sunday as insincere and a strategy to gain the support of black and Latino communities ahead of a possible run.
BULLSHIT.— Shaun King (@shaunking) November 17, 2019
After years of running the Apartheid-like policy of stopping and frisking millions of people of color throughout New York City, and then defending it every day in office, then every day he was out of office up until this week, @MikeBloomberg now admits he was wrong.
One longtime ally of former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHaiti prime minister warns inequality will cause migration to continue Pelosi: House must pass 3 major pieces of spending legislation this week Erdoğan says Turkey plans to buy another Russian defense system MORE said earlier this month it was "laughable" to think Bloomberg would win the support of African Americans.
The billionaire businessman has so far filed for the presidential primaries in Arkansas and Alabama as he mulls entering the race.