Bloomberg compared civil libertarians, teachers union to NRA 'extremists' in 2013: report

Bloomberg compared civil libertarians, teachers union to NRA 'extremists' in 2013: report
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Former New York City 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 in a 2013 speech reportedly called civil liberties activists “extremists” over their opposition to the stop-and-frisk policing policy he once championed and compared them to the National Rifle Association (NRA).

“We don’t need extremists on the left or the right running our police department, whether it’s the NRA or the [New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU)],” the then-mayor and current Democratic presidential candidate says in a recording of the speech obtained by Politico.

In remarks to New York City Police Department (NYPD) brass, Bloomberg blasts the NYCLU for lobbying for legislation that would make it easier for people targeted under the stop-and-frisk policy to sue the police department.

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“The legislation is based on the false allegation that the NYPD disproportionately stops young men of color, but as you know, stops are made based on descriptions of suspects and suspicious activity only,” Bloomberg said. “And the sad reality is on the streets of our city, 90 percent of murder suspects and murder victims are black and Latino. And black and Hispanics are the overwhelming majority of suspects in other violent crimes.”

In another recording that surfaced last week, however, Bloomberg defended racial disparities associated with the policy as necessary, saying in 2015 that the "way you get guns out of minorities’ hands is to throw them up against the wall and frisk them.”

A New York court ruled the same year that stop and frisk was racially discriminatory. The city dropped its appeal of the ruling after Bloomberg’s successor, Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioSunday shows preview: Lawmakers, state governors talk coronavirus, stimulus package and resources as pandemic rages on Sacrificing American lives on the altar of the Dow Jones Trump to travel to see naval hospital ship deploy to NYC MORE (D), took office in 2014.

Bloomberg also compared the United Federation of Teachers to the NRA in 2007 and 2013 comments, according to Politico, saying in 2013 that, like the teachers’ union, "The NRA’s another place where the membership, if you do the polling, doesn't agree with the leadership."

Stu Loeser, a Bloomberg campaign senior advisor and his longtime mayoral spokesman, told Politico that the "reference to the [teachers union] was something Mike said in the heat of the moment that he now regrets."

The Hill has reached out to the Bloomberg campaign for comment.