Five years ago, while speaking at the Aspen Institute, Michael Bloomberg defended his stance on “stop and frisk” which his mayoral administration strongly supported. The audio was unearthed by Progressive podcast host Benjamin Dixon, and it quickly went viral. While some may support the policy of “stop and frisk,” many on the left see it as a highly racist policy, and others even go as far as to call it racial terrorism.
In the recording, Bloomberg can be heard saying, “Ninety-five percent of murders- murderers and murder victims fit one M.O. You can just take a description, Xerox it, and pass it out to all the cops. They are male, minorities, 16-25. That’s true in New York, that’s true in virtually every city…And that’s where the real crime is. …[W]e put all the cops in minority neighborhoods. Why do we do it? Because that’s where all the crime is. And the way you get the guns out of the kids’ hands is to throw them up against the wall and frisk them.”
This is not the only example of Bloomberg defending his former stance on “stop and frisk.” It is also not the only example of an issue that his campaign will have to explain in an attempt to convince African American voters to support him. A NYT’s article pointed out in 2011 that “[d]uring Mr. Bloomberg’s first two terms in office, the number of lawsuits by employees accusing the city of discrimination was 12 percent higher than the number during Rudolph W. Giuliani’s two terms as mayor.”
The NYT’s article adds further:
“‘Some people may think that this is a surprise, given Bloomberg’s reputation for presiding over a quote calmer city unquote,’ said Craig Gurian, a former counsel to the New York City Commission on Human Rights who is now executive director of the Anti-Discrimination Center of Metro New York.
‘But there has always been a tremendous disparity between perception and reality,’ he added, ‘and the reality is that this administration is just not serious about civil rights enforcement.’
[D]ata furnished by the State Division of Human Rights showed that the number of employee discrimination complaints, which generally must precede lawsuits, was generally higher under Mr. Bloomberg than under Mr. Giuliani. The number of complaints peaked in 2007, at more than 330, roughly double what it was during each of the last three years of the Giuliani administration.”
With Bloomberg spending hundreds of millions of dollars on his presidential campaign on campaign ads, it appears that his team should have spent a little more time researching Bloomberg himself. With an easy Google search, you can find articles and audio where he defends “stop and frisk.”
We will have to wait and see if Bloomberg is able to explain all of these major issues and be able to handle a debate where his opponents point out all his flaws.