Steyer slams Bloomberg over stop and frisk
Businessman Tom Steyer slammed fellow Democratic presidential contender Mike Bloomberg Tuesday over his record on race and past defense of the controversial stop and frisk practice during his time as New York City mayor.
The broadside from the billionaire philanthropist comes after unearthed clips show Bloomberg defending the police practice and arguing that it was effective.
“Mike Bloomberg’s remarks in the video are extremely disturbing,” Steyer said in a statement. “The racist stereotypes he uses have no place today, and anyone running for the presidential nomination should disavow them.”
“We have a racist president in Donald Trump, and we must rise above that to unite our country,” he continued. “Mike needs to offer an explanation to voters, especially those in communities of color, who were victimized by ‘stop and frisk’ and continue to be victimized by racist policing tactics.”
Both President Trump and his campaign manager, Brad Parscale, also jumped on the clip Tuesday, saying it was evidence that Bloomberg was a “complete racist.”
Bloomberg can be heard in the clip defending stop and frisk, a policing practice used during his tenure as mayor that involved law enforcement temporarily questioning and searching people for weapons on the street. Studies have shown that the practice was ineffective in reducing crime and overwhelmingly targeted New Yorkers of color.
“Ninety-five percent of your murders — murderers and murder victims — fit one M.O. You can just take the description, Xerox it and pass it out to all the cops,” Bloomberg is heard saying in the unearthed video. “They are male, minorities, 16 to 25. That’s true in New York, it’s true in virtually every city.”
Bloomberg, who has apologized for the policy in the past, repeated his mea culpa Tuesday and admitted the practice was “overused.”
“By the time I left office, I cut it back by 95%, but I should’ve done it faster and sooner,” he said in a statement. “I regret that and I have apologized — and I have taken responsibility for taking too long to understand the impact it had on Black and Latino communities.”
The rebuke from Steyer comes as the two billionaires fight for the party’s nomination. Both candidates are blitzing the airwaves with ads, largely fueled by their own personal fortunes, while Steyer is also making an aggressive play for black voters in South Carolina, the fourth nominating state where former Vice President Joe Biden maintains a slimming lead.
Bloomberg, who made a late entry into the 2020 race in November, is not contesting South Carolina.
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