Warren confronts Bloomberg on stop and frisk: He 'needs a different apology'


Warren lambasted Bloomberg's defense of the racist policy carried out when he was mayor.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren slammed former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg during Wednesday night's ninth Democratic debate, criticizing him for the controversial stop and frisk policy carried out under his tenure.

The policy has been under the microscope again over the past month due to recently resurfaced audio featuring Bloomberg defending the racist practice in a 2015 speech.

On Wednesday evening, Bloomberg apologized for the policy, saying he had "asked for forgiveness" before stating that there was still work to be done on criminal justice reform.

"I've apologized. I've asked for forgiveness," he said. "But the bottom line is: We stopped too many people."

"There is no great answer to a lot of these problems," he added.

Warren blasted Bloomberg for that response.

"When the mayor says that he apologized, listen very closely to the apology," she said. "The language he used about stop and frisk is about how it turned out. No, this isn't about how it turned out. This is about what it was designed to do to begin with. It targeted communities of color. It targeted black and brown men from the beginning."

A real apology, she added, "has to start with the intent of the plan as it was put together, and the willful ignorance day by day by day; of admitting what was happening even as people protested in your own streets."

"You need a different apology," she concluded.

Bloomberg defended stop and frisk as recently as 2015.

During a speech that year to the Aspen Institute, Bloomberg said the stop and frisk policy used by New York City Police officers, which mostly targeted black and brown people, was the only way to "get the guns out of the kids' hands."

The way to do that, he said, was to "throw them up against the wall and frisk them."

"We put all the cops in minority neighborhoods. Yes, that's true. Why do we do it? Because that's where all the crime is," Bloomberg added at the time.

Audio of the remarks was first flagged by the conservative Daily Caller in 2015 and was shared earlier this month by podcast host Benjamin Dixon on Twitter.

The NAACP has called the stop and frisk policy both "ineffective" and a form of "racial profiling."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.