Michael Bloomberg Defends ‘Stop & Frisk’ Policy, A Potential 2020 Snag for Him | NTK Network Michael Bloomberg Defends ‘Stop & Frisk’ Policy, A Potential 2020 Snag for Him

Michael Bloomberg Defends ‘Stop & Frisk’ Policy, A Potential 2020 Snag for Him

As mayor of New York City, Bloomberg enforced a policy known as “stop and frisk,” which allowed police officers to temporarily detain individuals thought to have weapons.

By NTK Staff | 01.23.2019 @10:10am
Michael Bloomberg Defends ‘Stop & Frisk’ Policy, A Potential 2020 Snag for Him

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended a controversial policy enacted during his tenure as mayor as he mulls a potential run for president.

During a question and answer session at the U.S. Naval Academy’s 2019 Leadership Conference, a midshipman asked Bloomberg about the city’s “stop and frisk” policy, which allowed New York City police to temporarily detain and search individuals thought to be in possession of weapons or other contraband.

The policy reportedly targeted members of the African-America and Hispanic-American communities, and the midshipman’s question directly addressed that issue.

“What would you say to those in the two communities that have been negatively affected by the policy that you supported in the past?” he asked, per CNN.

“We focused on keeping kids from going through the correctional system … kids who walked around looking like they might have a gun, remove the gun from their pockets and stop it,” Bloomberg said. He added that “the result of that was, over the years, the murder rate in New York City went from 650 a year to 300 a year when I left.”

But according to CNN, it’s not clear that the policy should take credit for the declining murder rate. A 2018 report by the Equal Justice Initiative found that the murder rate continued to decline even after “stop and frisk” was eliminated.

The debate over “stop and frisk” comes at a unique moment in U.S. history. Just last month, Congress passed “the most significant criminal justice reform bill in decades,” per Vox. That bill, signed into law by President Trump, addressed many of the policies from the 1990s and 2000s that many experts believed to be ineffective or to disproportionately impact minority groups in a negative way.

Credit goes, in part, to the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement for bringing this discussion to the mainstream. In 2016, BLM protestors frequently interrupted Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders to get their message across about racial injustice.

If he decides to run in 2020 and continues to defend policies like “stop and frisk,” Bloomberg might find it difficult winning majorities in early primary states, especially those with sizeable African-American and Hispanic-American populations.

UPDATE, 12:15PM: Current New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted that Bloomberg’s “stop and frisk” policy didn’t make the city safer and created a rift between police and local communities:

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