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Bloomberg makes bombshell apology for "stop and frisk"

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:57s - Published
Bloomberg makes bombshell apology for 'stop and frisk'

Bloomberg makes bombshell apology for "stop and frisk"

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg admitted he was wrong to support the "stop and frisk" police practice that ensnared disproportionate numbers of blacks and Latinos, apologizing to a largely African-American church on Sunday as he weighs a presidential bid.

Roger Fortuna reports.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER NYC MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, SAYING: "I can't change history.

However, today I want you to know that I realize back then, I was wrong, and I'm sorry." A stunning apology from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg about "stop and frisk," perhaps his most controversial policy during his 12-year tenure in City Hall.

That police practice overwhelmingly targeted blacks and Latinos, and was eventually struck down by a federal judge in 2013 for violating the rights of minorities.

At the practice's peak in 2011, New York City police stopped and searched through the pockets, bags, and belongings of more than 684,000 people in a single year.

Bloomberg made his bombshell reversal on Sunday at one of New York's largest African-American churches, as the billionaire weighs a 2020 presidential run as a Democratic Party candidate.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER NYC MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, SAYING: "I don't know what the future holds for me but I promise you this.

I will never stop working to end gun violence.

To make every community across America safer and stronger, and to create a more just and equal society for everyone." Up until Sunday, Bloomberg had defended stop and frisk as an effective police tactic that saved lives and took dangerous guns out of the hands of criminals.

But controversy over stop-and-frisk has followed Bloomberg since his days in office, and his apology could be aimed at repairing his reputation with African-American voters, a highly influential Democratic voting bloc.

If Bloomberg does jump into the race, a Reuters/Ipsos poll shows he would have only modest support at the moment, as the fifth most popular Democratic candidate.




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