Trump calls Bloomberg a 'total racist' for supporting stop and frisk policies that president also endorsed

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AFP via Getty Images
AFP via Getty Images

Donald Trump deleted a post on Twitter calling Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg a "total racist" and sharing audio of the former New York mayor endorsing stop-and-frisk policies that racially profile black teenagers.

In the resurfaced audio, which was captured at the Aspen Institute in 2015, Mr Bloomberg explains why he supports police performing warrantless searches in black neighbourhoods, which a federal judge determined was carried out unconstitutionally by his police department.

President Trump has, however, previously supported the same policy

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Mr Bloomberg only recently apologised for pushing "stop and frisk" as he prepared to announce his candidacy for the Democratic nomination. The billionaire has since outspent other contenders in advertising,

In 2018, the president called for police departments to bring those policies back after several court challenges and federal intervention.

Mr Trump told a meeting of US police chiefs in Chicago that indiscriminate stop and frisk "works" and that his administration is working to "try to change the terrible deal the city of Chicago entered into" with the American Civil Liberties Union, after the organisation threatened to sue the city. The president said the agreement "ties law enforcement's hands".

He said: "Gotta be properly applied, but stop and frisk works."

In 2013, then-private citizen Trump said on Twitter: "Stop and frisk works. Instead of criticising [former NYPD chief] Ray Kelly, New Yorkers should be thanking him for keeping NY safe."

The clip of Mr Bloomberg, which was shared widely on social media, captures the former mayor saying that "the way you get the guns out of the kids' hands is to throw them up against the walls and frisk them".

"Ninety-five per cent of your murders -- murders and murder victims -- fit one M.O.", he says. "You can just take the description, Xerox it and pass it out to all the cops. ... They are male, minorities, [age] 16-25."

He says cities should "spend a lot of money on a lot of cops in the streets" and "put those cops where crime is, which means in minority neighbourhoods".

"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 all the cops in minority neighbourhoods", he says. "Yes, that's true, and why do we do it? Because that's where all the crime is."

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In New York, more than 100,000 stop-and-frisk stops were made annually between 2003 and 2013, including a dramatic spike in 2011 when more than 685,000 people were stopped by police. The majority of the people stopped by police in those cases were young African-Americans or Latinos

The ACLU said indiscriminate stop-and-frisk is "unconstitutional, results in enormous racial disparities, erodes community trust in the police, and makes people of colour less likely to report crimes. The group cites a Vera Institute of Justice study that found that young people are 8 per cent less likely to report a violent crime if they've been topped and frisked by police.

Donald Trump Jr also shared the clip of Mr Bloomberg on Twitter with the hashtag #BloombergIsARacist.

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