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Bloomberg to do interview with Al Sharpton

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Democratic presidential hopeful Mike Bloomberg is slated to do an interview with civil rights icon the Rev. Al Sharpton on Sunday amid scrutiny of the former New York City mayor’s past support for “stop and frisk.”

Bloomberg’s interview will air at 5 p.m. Sunday on Sharpton’s “Politics Nation” program on MSNBC.

The former mayor has faced a wave of criticism recently after resurfaced comments showed him defending the stop-and-frisk police practice, which studies have shown was ineffective in reducing crime and overwhelmingly targeted men of color.

“The way you should get the guns out of the kids’ hands is to throw them up against the wall and frisk them,” Bloomberg said in unearthed audio from 2015.

“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,” he added. “They are male, minorities, 16 to 25. That’s true in New York, it’s true in virtually every city.”

The unsurfaced comments led to a spike in criticism from activists and calls from other 2020 Democrats that Bloomberg explain the remarks. 

Bloomberg has apologized for his past support for the law enforcement practice and repeated his mea culpa earlier this month.

“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.”

Several presidential rivals went after Bloomberg during the latest Democratic debate in Las Vegas this week, with former Vice President Joe Biden ripping the stop-and-frisk program as “abhorrent” and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) calling Bloomberg’s apology inadequate.

“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,” the former mayor said during the debate Wednesday.

Sharpton has criticized Bloomberg in the past over the practice and said this week he would have to “repair the damage” caused by stop and frisk, while noting that other candidates have “baggage” as well.

“I also … don’t want to see him as a leaf that the other candidates dump some of their racial baggage,” he said on MSNBC earlier this week. “I want to know what Bernie’s gonna say about the vote he did for the [1994] crime bill, where people went to jail.”

“No matter his reason for voting for it, it was a law that incarcerated people. Joe Biden wrote it,” Bloomberg added before noting that Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) is facing scrutiny over her past as a prosecutor. “All of them have racial baggage.”

Tags Amy Klobuchar Elizabeth Warren Joe Biden Michael Bloomberg

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