Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg says ‘I was wrong’ for stop-and-frisk policy

NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 17: Michael Bloomberg prepares to speak at the Christian Cultural Center on November 17, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Reports indicate Bloomberg, the former New York mayor, is considering entering the crowded Democratic presidential primary race. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)

Former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is currently planning his Democratic presidential run and looking to get ahead of detractors by apologizing for his support of the “stop-and-frisk” strategy, employed by the New York Police Department.

The strategy was supported for a decade by Bloomberg and led to the harassment of numerous Black and Latino residents across the city.

READ MORE: Chicago top cop connected to Jussie Smollett case under investigation

In a speech, the first since expressing his interest as a presidential candidate, Bloomberg stated “I was wrong” and “I am sorry” to potential supporters.

Bloomberg went on to say he understands that he “can’t change history,” and “I apologize” to anyone that was wrongly stopped as a part of the policing efforts.

The New York Times cited the 77-year-old billionaire publicly backtracked on a component of his mayoral tenure that gained him the most notability.

The speech occurred at the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, a location considered to be one of the targeted communities, with largely African-American residents, for the controversial policing strategy.

CNBC detailed the tactic was enacted in 2002, the same year Bloomberg took over as mayor. In the “stop-and-frisk” strategy, the NYPD would target those who had reasonable suspicion of breaking the law. Results of the practice did lead to weapons being confiscated, but also a great number of innocent residents being stopped for no reason.

Prior to Sunday’s apology, Bloomberg was considered to be stubborn in his defense of the practice during his runs for mayor. He would also stand by the efforts during a 2013 court case, which ruled he violated the constitutional rights of minorities.

READ MORE: ‘The Squad’ members reportedly plan to endorse Bernie Sanders’ 2020 run

The apology from Bloomberg was stated to be an effort to regain the trust of Black and Latino communities.

The practices were found to be humiliating and degrading and were a central focus of Mayor Bill de Blasio‘s run for office.