Pete Buttigieg called Mike Bloomberg's stop-and-frisk record 'racist' before admitting he had a 'lot of issues' with policing in South Bend

insider@insider.com (Jake Lahut)
Pete Buttigieg and Mike Bloomberg sparred early in Tuesday night's South Carolina Democratic presidential debate.

CBS News

  • Pete Buttigieg called Mike Bloomberg's record of stop-and-frisk policing "racist" at Tuesday night's Democratic presidential debate in South Carolina before reflecting on his own record as mayor.
  • "We let it get out of control," Bloomberg said.
  • The exchange also highlighted the lack of diversity on the debate stage.
  • "I come to this with some humility because I'm conscious of the fact that there are seven white people on this stage talking about racial justice," Buttigieg said.
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An early impassioned exchange at Tuesday night's South Carolina Democratic presidential debate came between the primary's two former mayors.

When asked by the CBS moderator Gayle King whether Mike Bloomberg's implementation of stop-and-frisk policing as mayor of New York City was racist, Pete Buttigieg said, "Yes, in effect, it was, because it was about profiling people based on their race."

Buttigieg took the occasion to reflect on his own shortcomings with policing while mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and addressed the lack of diversity on the debate stage.

"I'm not here to score points," Buttigieg said. "I come at this with a great deal of humility because we have had a lot of issues, especially when it comes to racial justice and policing in my own community."

"And I come to this with some humility because I'm conscious of the fact that there are seven white people on this stage talking about racial justice," he added.

Bloomberg, for his part, apologized again for implementing the practice after defending it for years.

Only shortly before his 2020 run did Bloomberg apologize and acknowledge that the program, which allowed police officers to stop and search people on the streets without warrants, relied upon racial profiling.

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