Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg happily parroted a critic this week who stopped at a campaign stop to troll the billionaire over allegedly racist policing policies under his administration.
Bloomberg was in North Carolina on Thursday when a man approached him outside of an event and shouted: “Hey Mike, say stop-and-frisk!”
“Stop-and-frisk, sure,” Bloomberg repeated with his hand on the man’s shoulder.
A bearded handler in a turtle neck quickly cut in, putting his arm between the 78-year-old and his heckler.
“Hey!” the handler shouted.
Bloomberg quickly turned away to engage others waiting outside, but his hater wouldn’t relent.
“Racist piece of shit!” the man yelled.
The criticism comes as Bloomberg surges in national polling, buoyed in large part by astronomical spending on traditional and social media advertising. In North Carolina alone, the Bloomberg campaign has spent more than $8.6 million. Nationally, the total is more than $300 million, so far, The Charlotte Observer reports.
But Bloomberg has also faced heaps of criticism from progressive and minority voters over his past remarks about crime in the Big Apple. Bloomberg, then a Republican, faced fierce criticism for “stop-and-frisk” and other techniques that targeted black youth.
More recently, audio from a 2015 address to the Aspen Institute has reignited controversy about the allegedly racist police tactics.
Audio of @MikeBloomberg’s 2015 @AspenInstitute speech where he explains that “you can just Xerox (copy)” the description of male, minorities 16-25 and hand to cops.
Bloomberg had video of speech blocked.
Perhaps because of the problematic explanation he gives for #StopAndFrisk pic.twitter.com/Fm0YCi4ZRy
— Benjamin Dixon (@BenjaminPDixon) February 10, 2020
“Ninety-five percent of murders – murderers and murder victims fit one M.O. You can just take the description, Xerox it, and pass it out to all the cops. 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 the people that are getting killed. So you want to spend the money on a lot of cops in the streets. Put those cops where the crime is, which means in minority neighborhoods,” Bloomberg said.
“So one of the unintended consequences is people say, ‘Oh my God, you are arresting kids for marijuana that are all minorities.’ Yes, that’s true. Why? Because we put cops in minority neighborhoods,” he said. “Yes, that’s true. Why do we do it? Because that’s where all the crime is. And the way you get the guns out of the kids’ hands is to throw them up against the wall and frisk them … And then they start … ‘Oh I don’t want to get caught.’ So they still have a gun, but they leave it at home.”
Black voters who came out to Bloomberg’s rally in Raleigh told the Observer they’re willing to look past the comments in hopes of taking out Trump in 2020, and they believe the president’s recent attacks on the former NYC mayor is evidence The Donald is nervous about the match-up.
Mini Mike is a 5’4” mass of dead energy who does not want to be on the debate stage with these professional politicians. No boxes please. He hates Crazy Bernie and will, with enough money, possibly stop him. Bernie’s people will go nuts!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 13, 2020
Trump described “Mini Mike” as “a 5’4” mass of dead energy who does not want to be on the debate stage with these professional politicians” in a post to Twitter yesterday.
“I think (Bloomberg) is the man who can beat Donald Trump and I think Trump’s getting a little shaky, getting nervous,” James McCants told the news site.
“That’s why he’s started to attack,” added Ambrose Bond, another of the few black supporters at the event.
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