Bloomberg apologizes for 'stop-and-frisk' ahead of possible 2020 bid

Bloomberg apologizes for 'stop-and-frisk' ahead of possible 2020 bid
© Getty Images

Former New York Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergFormer Bloomberg staffer seeks class-action lawsuit over layoffs Bloomberg spent over 0M on presidential campaign The Hill's Campaign Report: Officials in spotlight over coronavirus response 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

“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. 

One longtime ally of former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSome Sanders top allies have urged him to withdraw from 2020 race: report Sunday shows preview: As coronavirus spreads in the U.S., officials from each sector of public life weigh in Trump defends firing of intel watchdog, calling him a 'disgrace' 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.