Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s rise in the Democratic presidential primary could come to a grinding halt after newly-surfaced audio from a 2015 speech he gave features him staunchly defending the controversial stop and frisk policy.
More than that, however, the language Bloomberg used in defending the policy is not going over well among Democratic voters.
"Ninety-five percent of murders—murderers and murder victims—fit one M.O. You can just take a description, Xerox it, and pass it out to all the cops," he said during a speech to the Aspen Institute. "They are male, minorities, 16-25. That's true in New York, that's true in virtually every city (inaudible). And that's where the real crime is. You've got to get the guns out of the hands of people that are getting killed."
The solution, he argued, was to put more police in urban neighborhoods where crime is highest.
"So one of the unintended consequences is people say, 'Oh my God, you are arresting kids for marijuana that are all minorities.' Yes, that's true. Why? Because we put all the cops in minority neighborhoods," Bloomberg said. "Yes, that's true. Why do we do it? Because that's where all the crime is. And the way you get the guns out of the kids' hands is to throw them up against the wall and frisk them... And then they start... 'Oh I don't want to get caught.' So they don't bring the gun. They still have a gun, but they leave it at home."
This is horrible as hell!— Nina Turner (@ninaturner) February 11, 2020
Bloomberg asked the Aspen Institute at the time to not distribute video of his appearance.
“We basically honor the wishes of our speakers, and Mayor Bloomberg preferred that we not use the video for broadcast,” the Institute’s chief external affairs officer Jim Spiegelman told the Aspen Times. “He did not give a reason nor did we have any reason to ask for one. We often feature speakers who prefer that their presentations not be videotaped.”
In November, Bloomberg apologized for the policy, saying he "can't change history...however, today, I want you to know that I realize back then I was wrong.”
The admission was too little too late for many and this audio will certainly not help.
At the time of writing, #BloombergIsRacist was trending on Twitter.