In another sign that Michael Bloomberg’s presidential ambitions are still alive and well, the former New York mayor appeared in a Brooklyn church over the weekend to atone for his past support of stop and frisk policies that focused on young minority men in the city as a primary means of enforcing the city’s law against possessing an unlicensed handgun.
The bombshell reversal ends Bloomberg’s zealous, years-long defense of one of the most contentious parts of his three-term legacy — and comes as the billionaire political moderate positions himself for an expected 2020 Democratic presidential run.
“I was totally focused on saving lives. But as we know, good intentions aren’t good enough,” Bloomberg told congregants at East New York’s Christian Cultural Center, one of the city’s largest black churches.
“As crime continued to come down as we reduced stops — and as it continued to come down during the next administration, to its credit — I now see that we could and should have acted sooner, and acted faster, to cut the stops,” Bloomberg admitted, offering a rare compliment to his successor, Mayor de Blasio.
Over at Hot Air, my colleague Jazz Shaw corrects Bloomberg’s assertion that crime has continued to drop by noting that shootings are actually up this year in New York City, while crime did drop dramatically while “stop and frisk” was in place. Still, it’s politically expedient for Bloomberg to reverse his support for “stop and frisk” now that he’s got national ambitions. As Jazz puts it: