Feb 21, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Judge who presided over "stop-and-frisk" case says Bloomberg got it wrong on debate night

In this image, Michael Bloomberg stands on the debate stage
Bloomberg in Las Vegas on Feb. 19. Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images

Retired U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin, who ruled in 2013 that New York's stop-and-frisk policy violated the rights of people of color, told MSNBC that Michael Bloomberg was wrong about his involvement in the controversial program at Wednesday night's debate.

What she's saying: Scheindlin refuted Bloomberg's claim that as New York City mayor he chose to reduce how many people were stopped, saying instead that he was forced: "It wasn't because he realized, had an epiphany that it was wrong. It's because of the court rulings, that's what happened, I ruled."

  • She also said that Biden falsely took credit at the debate for her appointing a federal monitor in August 2013 to observe the stop-and-frisk program.
  • "The reason stop and frisk changed is Barack Obama sent moderators to see what was going on," Biden said at the debate.

Flashback: "Well, if I go back and look at my time in office, the one thing that I'm really worried about, embarrassed about, was how it turned out with stop-and-frisk," Bloomberg said on the debate stage.

  • "When I got into office there was 650 murders a year in New York City and I thought that my first responsibility was to give people the right to live..."
  • "What happened, however, is it got out of control ... I discovered that we were doing too many stop-and-frisks..."

Background: Bloomberg apologized for the policy at an African American megachurch in November, in his first speech after filing paperwork to enter the 2020 presidential primary.

Go deeper: I Was the Judge in the Stop-and-Frisk Case. I Don’t Think Bloomberg Is Racist. (NYT)

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