Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg reacted to resurfaced comments he made in 2015 defending his “stop and frisk” policies against minorities.
In a statement issued by his campaign, Bloomberg began by blaming Trump for calling him a racist on Twitter earlier Tuesday morning before deleting the remark.
“President Trump’s deleted tweet is the latest example of his endless efforts to divide Americans,” he wrote.
The resurfaced comments featured Bloomberg telling an elite conference in Aspen, Colorado in 2015 that 95 percent of murders and murder victims were “male, minorities, age 16-25.”
“That’s true in New York, that’s true in virtually every city,” he said. “And that’s where the real crime is.”
Bloomberg said that stop-and-frisk helped prevent gun violence in New York.
“The way you get the guns out of the kids’ hands is to throw them up against the wall and frisk them,” he said.
In 2013 remarks, Bloomberg also argued, “We disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little.”
In his 2020 statement, Bloomberg said those comments “do not reflect my commitment to criminal justice reform and racial equity” but did not issue an apology.
Bloomberg specified that he “inherited” stop-and-frisk from the previous administration, but admitted he “overused” the policy “as part of our effort to stop gun violence.”
He did refer, however, to an apology he made in November 2019 for “stop-and-frisk.”
“I regret that and I have apologized — and I have taken responsibility for taking too long to understand the impact it had on Black and Latino communities,” he wrote.
Bloomberg again blamed Trump, accusing him of dividing the country with “racist appeals and hateful rhetoric. ”
“The President’s attack on me clearly reflects his fear over the growing strength of my campaign,” he said. “Make no mistake Mr. President: I am not afraid of you and I will not let you bully me or anyone else in America.”