Nov 17, 2019

Bloomberg apologizes for controversial "stop-and-frisk" policing practices

Michael Bloomberg at a 2019 gala in New York City. Photo: Ron Adar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg apologized at a black megachurch in Brooklyn on Sunday for implementing aggressive “stop-and-frisk” policing practices that disproportionately targeted black and Latino people across the city, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Bloomberg’s speech was his first since he filed paperwork to enter the 2020 presidential primary in Alabama, with the comments marking a surprising reversal on a core policy of the former mayor's tenure. Bloomberg in the past has strongly defended stop-and-frisk, which allowed police officers to stop and search anyone they suspected of a crime.

What they're saying:

“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 that 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."
— Bloomberg said in the speech

Between the lines: Analysts have long believed that Bloomberg's policing record could complicate a presidential bid, according to Politico. Bloomberg defended stop-and-frisk even after a federal judge found in 2013 that it was unconstitutional. The Times notes that crime has continued to drop even in the years after the practice was ended.

The big picture: With Bloomberg's 2020 decision "days" away, sources close to Bloomberg told Axios' Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei that his formal announcement is contingent on whether polling shows a convincing path to victory.

  • A Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa Poll released Saturday has Bloomberg's "unfavorable" rating with likely 2020 Democratic caucusgoers at 58%, up 20 points since March. Just 19% of caucusgoers said they have a very "favorable" view of Bloomberg.

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Mike Bloomberg officially announces presidential run

Photo: Yana Paskova/Getty Images

Billionaire and former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg officially announced on Sunday that he's running for president as a Democrat.

"I’m running for president to defeat Donald Trump and rebuild America. We cannot afford four more years of President Trump’s reckless and unethical actions. He represents an existential threat to our country and our values. If he wins another term in office, we may never recover from the damage. The stakes could not be higher. We must win this election. And we must begin rebuilding America. I believe my unique set of experiences in business, government, and philanthropy will enable me to win and lead."
— Mike Bloomberg
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Mike Bloomberg makes local friends with his 2020 donations

Photo: Eric Risberg/AP

Mike Bloomberg will donate $10 million this week "to defend vulnerable Democratic House members against paid Republican attacks on their support for impeachment proceedings" in 2020, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: We're told Bloomberg sees House Democrats as a counterweight to President Trump — the reason he was the biggest outside individual spender on Democrats during the 2018 midterms.

Go deeperArrowDec 12, 2019

Mike Bloomberg kicks off his climate week

Bloomberg in Phoenix on Nov. 26. Photo: Rick Scuteri/AP

Mike Bloomberg will announce a climate week that kicks off on Monday with the campaign's first ad on climate change.

The big picture: It's an online-only spot in California that's called "Smoke and Fire." It calls President Trump "the climate denier," in contrast with Bloomberg's battles with the coal industry.

Go deeperArrowDec 9, 2019