Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) blasted former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg as an “authoritarian” over his “racist” stop and frisk policy.
Ocasio-Cortez responded to a story in Bloomberg’s personal media outlet, Bloomberg News, which is doing public relations work for the boss — while pretending to be credible. Bloomberg News tweeted out the story about how poor Bloomberg “seeks to move past ‘stop and frisk’ controversy.”
Well, I bet he does, now that he’s been exposed as a racist who specifically targeted young black men with his stop and frisk policy.
After a 2015 speech Bloomberg gave to a bunch of white elites in Aspen came to light, a speech he sought to keep secret, Bloomberg can no longer hide behind the argument “stop and frisk” was not based on racial profiling. In this recording Bloomberg openly admits he had the New York City police force target young black men, and in another recording he argued that too many white people are being stopped and frisked.
If you want to defend stop and frisk, fine… I don’t like it. But I understand the legitimate tension between freedom and security. There’s a reasonable debate to be had there. For example, Ann Coulter here. Her point of view is convincing and defensible.
What cannot be defended, though, is a city mayor abusing a policy to target citizens based only on skin color. That is not just bad policy, it is pure racism.
Yes, if black people are committing the most crimes, it is only natural that a disproportionate number of black people are going to get caught up in legitimate and effective policing. That is not what Bloomberg said. He based his targeting on skin color, not suspicion and not probable cause.
Here’s what he said: [emphasis mine throughout]
Ninety-five percent of 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. They are male, minorities, 16-25. That’s true in New York, that’s true in virtually every city. And that’s where the real crime is. You’ve got to get the guns out of the hands of people that are getting killed. You want to spend the money on a lot of cops in the streets. Put the cops where the crime is, which means in minority neighborhoods. 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 neighborhoods. Yes, that’s true. Why do we do it? Because that’s where all the crime is. And the way you get the guns out of the kids’ hands is to throw them up against the wall and frisk them… And then they start, ‘Oh I don’t want to get caught.’ So they don’t bring the gun. They still have a gun, but they leave it at home.
Let me again say that I do not believe stop and frisk is a de facto racist policy. But there’s no question Bloomberg’s application of it was racist. So there’s nothing Ocasio-Cortez said of Bloomberg in these two tweets that’s inaccurate:
Will people get their records expunged?
Will young people sucked into the spiderweb of incarceration get their lives back?
Unless there is restorative justice, there is no “moving on” from Stop & Frisk. It’s just a billionaire trying to cover up authoritarian & racist policy.
New York City is about 60 percent people of color.
Stop and Frisk was an unconstitutional, devastating practice for the entire city that intentionally exempted white people from harm.
It was one of the most racist policies I’ve ever lived through that deeply impacted the entire city.
For starters, she’s absolutely correct that Bloomberg “intentionally exempted white people from harm.” Back in 2013, he said police “stop whites too much and minorities too little.”
As far as her comments about the “spiderweb,” she’s likely referring to what Bloomberg said in this portion of the comments posted above:
…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 neighborhoods. Yes, that’s true. Why do we do it? Because that’s where all the crime is. And the way you get the guns out of the kids’ hands is to throw them up against the wall and frisk them…
So Bloomberg had a policy based — not on suspicion or probable cause — but race, and the “kids” (his word) disproportionately affected are black.
You cannot defend that.
Again, I don’t like stop and frisk. I’m a bit of an extremist when it comes to police powers, but it is not a racist policy. If the policy is based on unbiased “reasonable suspicion” or “probable cause,” that’s not racist, even if more people of a certain skin color get caught up in it.
Bloomberg targeted black people. He bragged about targeting black people.
That is, by any measure, naked racism.