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

Bloomberg apologizes for 'stop-and-frisk' ahead of possible 2020 bid
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Former New York Mayor Michael BloombergMichael Rubens BloombergBloomberg's doctor releases 'outstanding' health report for 2020 candidate Krystal Ball: Influx of billionaire cash in 2020 contest is 'deeply corrosive' to 'civil society' Houston Chronicle stops using Bloomberg News wire stories for campaign coverage 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.

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“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 BidenSenate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial Conservative group hits White House with billboard ads: 'What is Trump hiding?' Democrat representing Pennsylvania district Trump carried plans to vote to impeach  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.