Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg apologized for using the “stop and frisk” policing strategy that a federal judge ruled targeted minorities unconstitutionally.
Speaking at a black church in Brooklyn, Bloomberg gave his mea culpa on the eve of an expected announcement that he is running for president.
“I was wrong,” he said at the Christian Cultural Center, a black megachurch in Brooklyn, according to the Times. “And I am sorry.”
Bloomberg said his support of the policy caused an “erosion of trust” and added that he hoped he could “earn it back.” The former mayor maintained he was focused on “saving lives,” and didn’t realize the impacts of the policing method on black and Latino communities, according to the Times.
That may be the first time in history a politician apologized for “saving lives.”
“I got something important really wrong. I didn’t understand 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,” he added, the newspaper noted.
Bloomberg had defended his use of “stop and frisk” for years, but then, he wasn’t running for president. I guess you have to be woke to see that saving lives means nothing if you hurt the feelings of the wrong people.
Anyway, not everyone is convinced that Bloomberg’s change of heart is genuine.
After years of running the Apartheid-like policy of stopping and frisking millions of people of color throughout New York City, and then defending it every day in office, then every day he was out of office up until this week, @MikeBloomberg now admits he was wrong.
— Shaun King (@shaunking) November 17, 2019
In truth, several studies have shown that “stop and frisk” had very little effect on the crime rate in New York City. Apparently, the only thing it accomplished was to give black activists a juicy issue to rally the troops and raise money off of.
It also got several thousand guns off the street and resulted in thousands of arrests. But we can’t mention that because it’s raaaaaacist.
The cops carried out the policy everywhere in the city, including Wall Street, so it’s a bogus claim it was “targeting minorities.”
Far more effective in reducing crime was stationing extra police in high-crime areas:
NYPD’s deployment of extra police to high crime neighborhoods contributed far more to the crime reduction than the use of stop, question, and frisk. Research on the NYPD’s program of Operation Impact found that extra police deployed to high crime areas in New York was a major factor in the crime decline: a 12% to 15% reduction. The additional use of stop, question, and frisk made almost no difference. The stops only had a detectable impact on crime when the stops were based on probable cause, and these kinds of stops were very rare. Other research by Weisburd and colleagues also showed that stop, question, and frisk practices had only small associations with crime reduction (on the order 2%). And this study did not measure the effects of stops over and above increased officer deployment.
What can we conclude from this? Saturating high crime neighborhoods with extra police helped reduce crime in New York, but the bulk of investigative stops did not play a meaningful role in the crime reduction.
As with many racial issues, there’s more hot air on both sides than facts. But Bloomberg is going down his list, checking all the boxes so that he won’t be offending any sensitive souls who hate the idea that a minority could actually be guilty of anything. The fact that they’re also powerful Democratic constituencies doesn’t matter to Bloomberg at all.