New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) on Sunday knocked former Mayor Michael Bloomberg (D) on Sunday after Bloomberg issued an apology for backing stop-and-frisk policing amid reports that he considering entering the 2020 presidential race.
De Blasio, who ended his 2020 White House bid in September after failing to gain momentum in the race, told CNN that Bloomberg “had almost six full years to say it was wrong.”
“We have had plenty of inflection points where he could have said, ‘You know what, I was wrong,'” de Blasio he continued. “He has never cared to do that. And I think that says something about the veracity of this.”
De Blasio went on to say that he believes his predecessor, who served three terms as New York City mayor ending in 2013, only apologized for his support for the policing practice because of his interest in the nation’s highest office.
De Blasio said for Bloomberg “to wait six whole years and only [apologize] when it is a matter of need, I think that raises eyebrows,” adding: “This is a death bed conversion.”
Bloomberg drew headlines on Sunday when he apologized for supporting the stop-and-frisk policing strategy during his time as mayor.
While speaking about the policing approach at the Christian Cultural Center, a black megachurch based in Brooklyn, Bloomberg said, “I was wrong. And I am sorry.”
“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 continued.
However, just earlier this year, Bloomberg defended the implementation of the policing strategy, which disproportionately targeted black and Latino people in New York City, saying, “The result of that was, over the years, the murder rate in New York City went from 650 a year to 300 a year when I left,” CNN reported then.
But Equal Justice Initiative found in 2018 that crime rates in the city still fell as the city moved away from the controversial practice.
De Blasio, who campaigned on putting an end to the policing approach, said “it was too big a mistake and too haughty a mistake to simply be brushed aside.”
“It is at least as much about the fact that he didn’t care to listen to communities of color and he didn’t listen to reformers. That speaks volumes,” he continued. “This is a problem for him that people are not going to see it as consistent.”