Newly released audio from a 2015 speech given by Michael Bloomberg shows the former NYC mayor vehemently defending his controversial “stop-and-frisk” policy — a policing procedure that the 2020 presidential candidate has since apologized for.
In the speech, which the billionaire gave to the Aspen Institute, Bloomberg sounded unapologetic in his acknowledgment of how the policy targeted minority kids in minority neighborhoods, arguing that they were targeted “because that’s where all the crime is.”
“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,” Bloomberg said, “They are male, minorities, 16 to 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.
“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. Why do we do it? Because that’s where all the crime is.”
The former mayor went on to defend why he had implemented the controversial policing policy: to get guns out of the hands of kids.
“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.”
He argued that the “stop-and-frisk” policy was necessary to save lives.
“If you can stop them from getting murdered, I would argue everything else you do is less important,” he added.
Shortly after he gave the speech, representatives for Bloomberg asked the Aspen Institute to not distribute footage of his appearance, according to the Aspen Times.