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Bloomberg Says He ‘Inherited’ Stop And Frisk. NYC Activists Recall A Different Story.

The Democratic presidential candidate also made the dubious claim that he cut stop and frisk by '95%' during his time as mayor.

2/26/2020 4:20:00 AM

Bloomberg again says he 'inherited' stop and frisk and argued he cut it by 95% while he served as mayor of New York City. Earlier this month, HuffPost's letsgomathias wrote about NYC activists who recall a much different story. DemDebate

The Democratic presidential candidate also made the dubious claim that he cut stop and frisk by '95%' during his time as mayor.

Jeffrey Fagan, a criminologist at Columbia University who published an in-depth study of stop and frisk,notedthat while Bloomberg claimed to have “inherited” the police practice, stops actually “ballooned” during his time as mayor, from 92,000 stops in 2002 to nearly 700,000 in 2011.

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“So, he took a policy in place and vastly and enthusiastically expanded it during his regime,” Fagan wrote in a tweet.Alyssa Aguilera, spokesperson for theCommunities United for Police Reform Action Fund, told HuffPost in a statement that “contrary to Bloomberg’s claims that he ‘cut back’ stop-and-frisk,” it was actually local activists who “forced the historic reduction in abusive stops.”

And Christopher Dunn, a lawyer at the New York Civil Liberties Union, shared that analysis,telling Gothamistthat Bloomberg’s statement was “completely misleading.”“It is true that the very end of his administration that stops went way down, but that undoubtedly was a product of all the advocacy and litigation that was taking place,” Dunn said. “He does not get credit for that, and it’s notable that he did not try to take credit for it at the time.”

Bloomberg, a Republican-turned-Democratic billionaire who recently launched a largely self-funded White House run, has struggled to distance himself from a series of aggressive and discriminatory policing policies he oversaw as a three-term mayor of New York City.

His misleading statement Tuesday came in response to outrage over arecently resurfaced audio clipin which he can be heard defending his stop-and-frisk regimen in stark, racist terms.“People say, ‘Oh, my God, you are arresting kids for marijuana who are all minorities,’” Bloomberg says in the

audio recordingfrom a 2015 Q&A at The Aspen Institute. “Yes, that’s true. Why? Because we put all the cops in the minority neighborhoods. Yes, that’s true. Why’d we do it? Because that’s where all the crime is. And the way you should get the guns out of the kids’ hands is throw them against the wall and frisk them.”

Prominent figures on the left and right of the political spectrum criticized Bloomberg over the comments. Even President Donald Trump, astop-and-frisk supporterhimself, tweeted: “WOW, BLOOMBERG IS A TOTAL RACIST!” (The president later deleted the tweet.)

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“I inherited the police practice of stop-and-frisk, and as part of our effort to stop gun violence it was overused,” Bloomberg said in his statement Tuesday. “By the time I left office, I cut it back by 95%, 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.”

In a series of emails with HuffPost, a Bloomberg campaign spokesperson did not specify precisely the exact time frame it used to calculate this alleged “95%” drop.Donna Lieberman, executive director at the NYCLU, speculated to HuffPost that the Bloomberg campaign selectively sliced and diced

stop-and-frisk datato its own advantage, comparing the number of police stops at their peak during his mayorship (about 204,000 stops in the first quarter of 2012) to the number of stops at their lowest (12,500 stops in the fourth quarter of 2013).But experts and activists say this narrow reading of the data obscures larger trends.

“His ’95% decline’ figure is nonsense,” wrote Fagan, the Columbia University criminologist. “Stops declined by 72% from the 2011 peak to 2013, his last year. Stops increased overall 98% from 2002-2013.”Fagan added that Bloomberg only “brought down the number of stops due to pressures from the federal district court in a series of court orders beginning in May 2012 and continuing through August 2013,” when a federal judge

that the city’s use of stop and frisk was unconstitutional and amounted to racial profiling. Read more: HuffPost »

letsgomathias Mathias is right. Bloomberg has become more dishonest since becoming a politician. I have that post bookmarked btw. Always thought he’d throw in for 2020. Nice job. letsgomathias F ing A ... MikeBloomberg backed LindseyGrahamSC in Lindsey’s last election? Yeah. That’s all I need to know. 5 minutes ago, I was voting for Mike. Sure as hell won’t now. Mike has Lindsey’s stench all over him.

letsgomathias Seems like the sort of thing that would be documented, why are we quoting people’s recollections?

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