Bloomberg stop and frisk speech comes back to haunt him


With billionaire presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg suddenly showing up at 15% in a new national poll, it’s time for pundits to start breaking out the oppo research folders. And one person showed up immediately with a doozy. It’s reportedly the audio of a speech that he gave fairly recently (in 2015) at the Aspen Institute. In a clip released by podcaster Benjamin Dixon, Bloomberg can be heard speaking some hard truths about urban crime control and gang violence. He sings the praises of his stop and frisk policies in New York City and explains why most of the arrests happen in primarily minority communities. (Mediaite)

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg strongly defended his “throw them up against the walls” stop-and-frisk policy in just-leaked audio of a 2015 Aspen Institute appearance, telling the audience that cops targeted minority neighborhoods “because that’s where all the crime is.”

The apparent audio of the five-year-old event, which Bloomberg blocked from public release at the time, was released by podcaster Benjamin Dixon…

In the roughly minute-long excerpt, Bloomberg begins his argument defending stop-and-frisk by saying: “95% of your 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.”

Bloomberg wasn’t saying anything in that speech that I haven’t written here dozens of times. And he will no doubt receive the same unwarranted claims and accusations from liberals that I’m frequently subjected to. Of course, he probably wishes that the language he chose wasn’t quite so brusque.

Mike will be particularly pilloried for saying that the vast majority of both murderers and victims in urban crime are “overwhelmingly male, minority, and 16 to 25 years old.” That’s an uncomfortable reality for critics and most of the mainstream media. It’s also why the vast majority of gang-related urban shootings are treated as “local news stories” no matter how many people are gunned down. Bloomberg is talking about gang violence without specifically invoking the phrase.

He also addresses why police resources are deployed disproportionately to lower-income minority areas. People automatically throw out charges of racism when someone like Bloomberg says “because that’s where the crime is.” But as I’ve argued here until I’m blue in the face, that’s a baseless accusation. The former mayor is simply talking about reality. You don’t send out the majority of your NYPD resources to shake down investment bankers in upper Manhattan because they typically aren’t packing unregistered Glocks, slinging juiced up heroin and popping a cap into the heads of rival stock exchange brokers.

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Low-income neighborhoods with few prospects for well-paying jobs and failing schools create environments where depression and drug or alcohol addiction become endemic. And those factors make for a ripe breeding ground for organized crime and gang activity. Sadly, the reality is that those neighborhoods also tend to be where you find large concentrations of Black and Hispanic residents. And as I alluded to above, they represent the vast majority of victims of gang violence, not just the perpetrators.

In short, that’s where you find the most crime so that’s where you deploy your law enforcement resources. Bloomberg was doing nothing more than speaking the truth in that address. The fact that he has since apologized for driving down crime rates in New York City in preparation for his presidential bid won’t stop the usual chorus of critics for using this newly unearthed speech against him.

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