It’s the most recent impression of how the Democratic candidate has regarded black and brown people in America. The audio cropped up on social media just hours after a new poll reflected that Bloomberg was in second place, trailing Biden, whose own approval from black voters has waned over the last few weeks, NewsOne reports.
The audio from the former New York City mayor was shared hours before the New Hampshire primary opened on Tuesday morning.
The clip originates from a speech Bloomberg gave in 2015 at the Aspen Institute, where he again defended his use of “stop-and-frisk” during his mayoral tenure, an unconstitutional policing tactic that unjustifiably targeted black and brown people. Bloomberg is largely considered to have spearheaded and enforced the methodology throughout his three terms as mayor. In his speech, Bloomberg expounded on how he identifies criminals.
“Ninety-five percent of your murders, and 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, 16-25. 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.”
Bloomberg continued by saying cities must “spend the money to put a lot of cops on the streets,” and alluded to minority neighborhoods. He then championed “arresting kids for marijuana that are all minorities.”
Stop-and-frisk is a harmful policy that has been praised by Donald Trump as something police officers should employ regularly.
On Tuesday Bloomberg responded to the clip’s surfacing: ”I inherited the police practice of stop-and-frisk, and as part of our effort to stop gun violence it was overused. By the time I left office, I cut it back by 95 percent, but I should've done it faster and sooner. I regret that and I have apologized—and I have taken responsibility for taking too long to understand the impact it had on Black and Latino communities."
Bloomberg also commented that Trump "inherited a country marching towards greater equality and divided us with racist appeals and hateful rhetoric." The President tweeted and quickly deleted the speech clip, saying "WOW, BLOOMBERG IS A TOTAL RACIST!" Bloomberg said it “reflects [Trump's] fear over the growing strength of my campaign. Make no mistake Mr. President: I am not afraid of you and I will not let you bully me or anyone else in America."
The clip went viral after a new Quinnipiac poll showed Bloomberg was following Biden by a small margin in the pursuit of the black vote. Biden emerged with 27 percent of the black vote, while Bloomberg had 25. Bernie Sanders followed with 19 percent, and Elizabeth Warren only had 8 percent.
Bloomberg, a former Republican, joined the presidential race in November to little excitement, particularly with black and brown New Yorkers who were severely impacted by his racist policing methods. However, that all changed after he announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination. He’s now been trying to make amends, acknowledging how mistaken he was for introducing stop-and-frisk, which the Supreme Court ruled is a violation of the constitution.
Read some reactions to Bloomberg's audio clip below.