Rivals rip Bloomberg over stop-and-frisk policy at debate
Democratic presidential candidates ripped Mike Bloomberg over his stop-and-frisk policy at Wednesday’s debate, with the former mayor of New York City saying he has apologized for the controversial practice.
Bloomberg said he was “embarrassed” by the policing policy that disproportionately targeted communities of color, adding that he’s learned from those mistakes.
“I’ve sat, I’ve apologized, I’ve asked for forgiveness, but the bottom line is that we stopped too many people … and we got to make sure we do something about criminal justice in this country,” Bloomberg said.
Former Vice President Joe Biden snapped that it didn’t matter “whether he apologized or not,” saying the policy itself was “abhorrent.”
“It was in fact a violation of every right people have,” Biden said, adding that the Obama administration sent monitors to analyze the effects of stop and frisk and advised Bloomberg to end it.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) piled on, saying his apology was inadequate for focusing on “how it turned out” instead of “what it was designed to do in the first place.”
“It targeted communities of color. It targeted black and brown men from the beginning, and if you want to issue a real apology, then the apology has to start with the intent of the plan as it was put together,” she said.
“You need a different apology here, Mr. Mayor,” she added.
Bloomberg, who was taking the Democratic debate stage for the first time since entering the race in late November, became a target for the other candidates right off the bat.
A recording from 2015 surfaced last week in which he defended stop and frisk, saying “95 percent” of “murders and murderers and murder victims” are male minorities between 16 and 25 years old.
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