Bloomberg Apologizes for N.Y. ‘Stop and Frisk’: Campaign Update

Mark Niquette

(Bloomberg) -- Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg apologized for not moving faster to reduce police stops under a “stop-and-frisk” policy while he was in office that critics said targeted blacks and Hispanics.

Bloomberg spoke as he considers a late bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential contest.

“Over time, I’ve come to understand something that I long struggled to admit to myself: I got something important wrong. I got something important really wrong,” Bloomberg said in remarks to the congregation at the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn on Sunday. “Today, I want you to know that I realize back then I was wrong, and I’m sorry.”

Bloomberg said he supported the policy as a way to reduce violence and gun-related deaths, yet came to realize limiting stops didn’t increase crime, and that he didn’t appreciate “the full impact that stops were having on the black and Latino communities.” Critics have cited his support of “stop and frisk” as a potential issue with minority voters who make up a key part of the Democratic base if he decides to seek the party’s nomination.

Al Sharpton, president and founder of National Action Network, said in a statement that Bloomberg called him after his remarks. Sharpton said while he’s glad Bloomberg admitted the policy was wrong, he told the former mayor “it will take more than one speech for people to forgive and forget a policy that so negatively impacted entire communities.”

Bloomberg, 77, has taken steps toward a presidential bid, including filing paperwork to appear on the ballot in the Alabama and Arkansas primaries on March 3. He has not announced a decision.

The former mayor is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.

Deval Patrick Open to Super PACs to ‘Catch Up’ (11:43 a.m.)

Deval Patrick, the former Massachusetts governor, said Sunday he’s open to accepting money from so-called super PACs as a way “to do some catch up” in his presidential run.

During an interview on NBC News’ “Meet The Press,” Patrick, an ex-managing director at Bain Capital LP, acknowledged that many Democrats oppose the fund-raising vehicle that lets candidates raise unlimited amounts of money from corporations and unions. Still, he that while he “wasn’t crazy about super PAC money either,” he wouldn’t tell people to stop using the instruments to raise money for him.

“We need to do some catch-up so I think we’ve got to follow and find all sorts of above-board strategies,” said Patrick, who joined the 2020 Democratic presidential campaign on Thursday. “I would like to see any contributions to such a PAC fully disclosed,” he added.

Patrick said he decided to jump into the race after his wife, who’d been battling cancer, recently received a positive diagnosis.

“She’s also been one of the ones listening closely and responding to folks who have said there is a lane for you, more to the point, that the nation needs experience, not just a sensibility around bridge building, but actually some results in that respect,” he said, according to a rush transcript of the interview.

Biden Says Trump Will Depart If He Loses in 2020 (9:01 a.m.)

Joe Biden said he expects President Donald Trump to leave the White House if he’s defeated in next year’s election. But if he doesn’t, the same national security agencies he’s railed against for years would force him out, said the former vice president.

“I don’t think that’s going to happen, but I don’t count on anything,” the Democratic presidential candidate said in answer to a question at a Saturday evening town hall in Las Vegas about whether there would be a peaceful transition of power if Trump loses. --Jennifer Epstein

Some Trump opponents and opinion writers have begun to wonder aloud whether Trump would willingly give up the Oval Office after an electoral loss in 2020.

“By the way, you’re saying something that we all kind of laugh at” but “we never even contemplated” with other presidents, Biden said, adding that Trump would likely challenge the results of the election if he loses.

If Trump were to refuse to leave, “I’m confident that the security forces, the FBI, the police agencies and the intelligence agencies and the military, because he’s so denigrated them so badly” would not stand for it, Biden said.

Coming Up

The major Democratic candidates -- including Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg -- are scheduled to appear Sunday at the Nevada Democratic Party’s First in the West dinner, a major event that previously has drawn thousands to hear from presidential hopefuls.

Ten candidates have qualified for the fifth Democratic debate, on Nov. 20 in Atlanta: Biden, Warren, Sanders, Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Andrew Yang, Tulsi Gabbard, Cory Booker and Tom Steyer.

(Updates with Sharpton response in fifth paragraph.)

--With assistance from Jennifer Epstein and Ben Bain.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Niquette in Columbus at mniquette@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at wbenjaminson@bloomberg.net, Ros Krasny, Steve Geimann

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