As Michael Bloomberg weighs a bid for the White House next year, the former New York mayor told the congregation at a 'black megachurch' on Sunday that he's sorry for his support of the city's controversial "stop-and-frisk" program which targeted a disproportionate number of blacks and Latinos.
"I was wrong. And I am sorry," Bloomberg said at the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, pandering to the black vote.
In 2013, a federal judge who declared the program unconstitutional found that nearly 90% of those stopped hadn't done anything illegal, while a 2018 Equal Justice Initiative report revealed that the city's abandonment of the tactic had no influence on crime rates, according to Rolling Stone.
Bloomberg notably supported the practice after the ruling.
"Over time [i.e. the last few years, or weeks], I’ve come to understand something that I long struggled to admit to myself: I got something important wrong. 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.
In 2011, the year with the most stop-and-frisks, 685,724 NYPD stops were recorded. Of those, 88% were innocent, while 87% were black or latino and 9% white. Over half were aged 14-24 years old according to the NY ACLU.
The 77-year-old Bloomberg has not formally entered the 2020 race, however he has taken steps to get on the ballot in states with early filing deadlines according to Reuters. If he does run, Bloomberg will be the fifth most popular candidate, and the richest - eclipsing Donald Trump's net worth by around $50 billion.