Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg still hasn’t made a formal announcement that he’ll be running for president next year, but sometimes actions speak louder than words. Although in this case, both are pretty telling.
On Sunday, Nov. 17th, Bloomberg gave a speech apologizing for something that — up until January of this year — he was a staunch defender of, New York’s “stop-and-frisk” law. In his apology, he acknowledged that his policy caused trust issues with the black and Latino communities and he wanted to earn it back.
He also said,
“Over time, I’ve come to understand something that I long struggled to admit to myself: I got something important wrong. 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.”
Many believe that this is a tactic to attract black voters because he made the speech at the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, which is considered a black megachurch by many in the community.
Some people are unhappy with Bloomberg’s sudden back-pedaling of what many people saw as a successful way to reduce crime.
The former New York City Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik did an interview on Fox News with Tucker Carlson, and he didn’t hold back on his thoughts.
Kerik said “I think Bloomberg and others like him that now denounce the policy, I think they forget how it started under Rudy Giuliani and the crime reductions — 65% reduction in violent crime between 1994 and 2002,” he said, adding, “Without ‘stop-question-and-frisk,’ we’d never been able to do that job…looking for guns, shots-fired, burglaries in progress — any violent crime in progress.”
The former police commissioner isn’t the only one upset with Bloomberg’s apology — but others had different reasons.
On Sunday the city’s biggest police union, the Police Benevolent Association’s president Patrick Lynch, issued a statement:
“Mayor Bloomberg could have saved himself this apology if he had just listened to the police officers on the street. We said in the early 2000s that the quota-driven emphasis on street stops was polluting the relationship between cops and our communities. His administration’s misguided policy inspired an anti-police movement that has made cops the target of hatred and violence and stripped away many of the tools we had used to keep New Yorkers safe. The apology is too little, too late.”
Even with all the controversy that Bloomberg has created before he’s officially announced his candidacy, he’s gaining support from fellow politicians. On Monday, the mayor of Columbia, South Carolina announced that he supports Bloomberg seeking the Democratic nomination. “I believe firmly that Mike Bloomberg can win. I think resources are going to matter,” he said during an interview.
Steve Benjamin is an important endorsement for Bloomberg. Benjamin has met with almost all the Democratic presidential hopefuls to offer them advice on how to win in South Carolina and was once seen as a potential running mate for Hillary Clinton.
For someone who hasn’t even announced that he’s running, Bloomberg is already making a pretty big impact.
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