Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg found himself in the hot seat this week when a conversation about his 2020 presidential run suddenly turned into a pointed confrontation over the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk policy.
According to Mediate, on Wednesday, while appearing on ABC’s The View, co-host Sunny Hostin took the politician to task about the policy which she noted, “caused 600 [percent] increase in police stops that disproportionately targeted Black and Latino men, 90 percent of whom were innocent.”
A judge ruled in 2013 that the policy was not unconstitutional, but was applied in a way toward people of color that was.
“We’re talking about 14 stops out of 10,000 only produced a gun, okay,” Hostin continued. “Many questioned the authenticity of that policy, mayor Bloomberg, myself included, only because in January of that year you stood up for stop-and-frisk. So what happened between January and November that caused this change of heart? Because it sounds like a political move to me.”
In response, one that stunned some viewers, Bloomberg claimed that at the time that he believed stop-and-frisk would actually help Black and Brown people in his community instead of being used as a tactic to disproportionately target them.
“When I got elected, I took a look; there were 650 murders a year in New York City. Most of them were young, minority men,” he explained. “And I said: ‘We have to stop this. That’s where my heart is. That’s what I wanted to do. And I would do virtually anything I could…Anything the professionals gave me some advice to do.
“But during that period, in looking back, it certainly got out of hand,” he conceded. “The bottom line is, when I saw we had gone way overboard, I stopped it. And by the time I left office, we had cut 95 percent of it out. Then I apologized when enough people said to me that it was wrong and I wish I had done it earlier. I just didn’t. So you apologize and go on.”