Courtesy of the AP:
Mike Bloomberg is under fire for resurfaced comments in which he says the way to bring down murder rates is to “put a lot of cops” in minority neighborhoods because that’s where “all the crime is.”
The billionaire and former New York mayor made the comments at a 2015 appearance at the Aspen Institute, as part of an overall defense of his support for the controversial “stop and frisk” policing tactic that has been found to disproportionately affect minorities.
Bloomberg launched his Democratic presidential bid late last year with an apology for his support for the policy. On Tuesday, after the comments resurfaced, he reiterated his apology and said his 2015 remarks “do not reflect my commitment to criminal justice reform and racial equity.”
But the audio of his Aspen speech highlights his embrace of the policy just a few years ago, and suggests he was aware of the disproportionate impact of stop-and-frisk on minorities. Bloomberg says that “95 percent” of murders and murder victims are young male minorities and that “you can just take the description, Xerox it and pass it out to all the cops.” To combat crime, he says, “put a lot of cops where the crime is, which means in minority neighborhoods.”
In the audio, he acknowledges focusing police forces in minority neighborhoods means minorities are disproportionately arrested for marijuana possession, but dismisses that as a necessary consequence of the crime in those neighborhoods. And to “get the guns out of the kids hands,” Bloomberg says, police must “throw ’em against the wall and frisk ’em.”
“And they say, ‘oh, I don’t want that, I don’t wanna get caught.’ So they don’t bring the gun,” he says.
First of let me just say that the emergence of this tape is most certainly the result of opposition research by somebody who does not want Bloomberg in the race.
It could almost be anybody, the RNC, the DNC, Donald Trump, or any one of the current Democratic candidates.
However having said that it is obviously something that he said which I think deserves to be addressed.
I certainly do not feel comfortable defending Bloomberg’s support for the stop and frisk policy, however I also do not feel that it disqualifies him from being considered for the nomination to be the Democratic candidate in November.