Michael Bloomberg apologized for implementing and defending “stop-and-frisk” policies while he was mayor of New York City, a reversal in position that comes as he prepares for a potential presidential bid.
“I was wrong,” Bloomberg said Sunday in remarks at Christian Cultural Center, a predominately black megachurch in Brooklyn. “And I am sorry.”
“Stop-and-frisk” policing, a strategy of stopping and detaining individuals for a short period of time in an effort to remove illegal weapons and other contraband, has long been criticized as a program that disproportionately affected black and Latino individuals. Bloomberg previously defended the program by arguing that it helped reduce crime rates and noting that a large proportion of violent crime happens in black and Hispanic communities.
“Over time, I’ve come to understand something that I long struggled to admit to myself: I got something important wrong,” Bloomberg said, according to the New York Times. “I got something important really wrong. I didn’t understand back then the full impact that stops were having on the black and Latino communities. I was totally focused on saving lives — but as we know: good intentions aren’t good enough.”