Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg was trolled Thursday when a man started taking a selfie with the presidential candidate, saying “stop-and-frisk” outside of an event in which he refused to take questions on the topic from either the media or voters.
Bloomberg, facing renewed scrutiny for the policing strategies he championed as mayor, was confronted by the young man while campaigning through North Carolina. Video of the awkward encounter was captured by the conservative group, America Rising.
“Hey, Mike, say stop-and-frisk,” the man says in the video, in the typical cadence of a photographer commanding, “Say ‘cheese.'” Bloomberg, appearing to process the joke verbally, says the phrase before someone off-screen is heard saying “racist piece of shit.”
— America Rising (@AmericaRising) February 13, 2020
According to CNN, Bloomberg dodged questions and shut down discussion about past racially-charged comments during three different campaign stops. The first wave of recently resurfaced audio came from a speech he gave at the Aspen Institute in 2015. In the audio, Bloomberg is heard defending “stop-and-frisk” and his strategy of targeting minority neighborhoods for the practice.
“It’s controversial, but… 95 percent of your murders, and murderers, and murder victims fit one [description],” he says. “You can just take the description, Xerox it, and pass it out to all of the cops. They are male, minorities, 15 to 25. That’s true in New York, it’s true in virtually every city in America.”
The tape has made waves in news coverage and public discourse, but Bloomberg refused to address it while campaigning through North Carolina.
“He took no questions from voters or reporters as he traveled from Winston-Salem to Greensboro to Raleigh, despite several people in the crowds telling CNN they wished he would have addressed the stop-and-frisk matter,” CNN added.