A presidential hopeful for 2020 is now backpedaling from something that he stood by for almost two decades.
Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, is largely credited with the strife between civilians of New York and the police who were tasked with policing them, specifically driven by a push for huge amounts of stop-and-frisk interactions during his time in office.
Now, Bloomberg says he’s sorry about how it all went down, but not everyone is convinced that the apology is coming from a sincere direction.
The Police Benevolent Association heavily criticized the former New York City mayor over his unforeseen Sunday apology for his administration’s use of stop-and-frisk.
Bloomberg had admitted to the folly of his ways by calling the practice city cops carried out for years a “misguided policy” that put officers in the line of fire. Yet, an apology isn’t going to alleviate the damage done throughout the years.
Patrick Lynch, president of The Police Benevolent Association slammed Bloomberg over the apology.
“Mayor Bloomberg could have saved himself this apology if he had just listened to the police officers on the street. We said in the early 2000s that the quota-driven emphasis on street stops was polluting the relationship between cops and our communities. His administration’s misguided policy inspired an anti-police movement that has made cops the target of hatred and violence, and stripped away many of the tools we had used to keep New Yorkers safe.”
— PIX11 News (@PIX11News) November 17, 2019
Lynch’s citing of the quota-driven aspects creating distrust between the community and police isn’t at all too hard to fathom. The number of stop-and-frisk searches exploded in the 2000’s.
In 2002 there were over 97,000 stops, 2003 there were over 160,000 stops and by 2004 that number had nearly doubled from the previous year.
Between the years of 2008 through 2012, each year had over half a million stop-and-frisks. That essentially equates to one in every forty people that had been subjected to a Terry Stop, which that practice can easily explain the disdain with policing and police officers within the state.
For years Bloomberg had been a staunch advocate of the practice, toting a “broken window” type of mentality against minor acts and placing officers in tough scenarios where they might be pressured to find reasonable suspicion in order to meet their stop-and-frisk quotas.
In a shocking reversal of his long-running defense of the policy, Bloomberg apologized for stop-and-frisk in an appearance that came Sunday morning at Brooklyn’s Christian Cultural Center. This is conveniently timed for his anticipated entry into the 2020 race for the White House.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, who at one point also had the position of POTUS in his sights, was one of the many critics of the bold, but unexpected move made by Bloomberg.
He recently posted a tweet with regard to the recent announcement made by the former mayor.
“This is LONG overdue and the timing is transparent and cynical. With all due respect to my predecessor, we’ve spent six years undoing the damage he created with this bankrupt policy. We ended stop and frisk AND drove down crime. Actions speak louder than words.”
In a move that reeks of modus operandi outside of s simple apology, Bloomberg also made a call to one of the most feared rabble rousers from the 1900’s and 2000’s, Al Sharpton.
Make no mistake, in Sharpton’s heyday if there was even a minor blemish that looked like discrimination or racism, he could find it and make it national news overnight. Of course, Sharpton was one of the many critics of the stop-and-frisk practice that was ongoing throughout Bloomberg’s time in office, and the call received from the former mayor triggered some skepticism, blended with a little optimism.
“He called me and said he apologized for stop-and-frisk. I don’t know the motivation, but it’s the right step. But it’s going to take more than one speech to earn people’s confidence and forgiveness. We’ll see over time whether this was politically motivated,” Sharpton said.
Political motivations aside, what really needs to happen is a plan of action to regain the community’s trust for police within New York, and Sharpton is right in his analysis that it’s going to take more than a speech to fix the damage done.
It’s no secret that police in the city walls are facing a lot, and it’s hard to do a job without any support. That’s what led an officer to call out city leaders. We’ll leave you with his words.
Dear Mayor de Blasio,
I just wanted to take a minute to say, “ENOUGH!”
You can publicly deny the allegations all you want, but I might just have a bad back from moving your daughter’s furniture out of her apartment and I know which gas stations are at which exits between Manhattan and Yale. So, let me tell you what you can do with your denials.
I went to the academy. I learned a lot of things while I was there.
I qualified on my weapon. I learned how to de-escalate volatile situation. I know the penal code.
I have spent time in multiple units, doing several years in traffic, moving to investigations as a detective. I have time with SWAT. I have been undercover. I have been a patrolman and a sergeant. I have been a supervisor.
And in all those roles, I have read and understood the job description. And nowhere does it state that I am responsible for moving your daughter’s furniture or chauffeuring your son back and forth to New Haven, CT, because he didn’t want to take the train.
Yet, here are some of the things that you deny doing.
About driving your son, you said:
“I never ordered anyone to do anything.”
I beg to differ. None of us volunteered to do it.
The drive from downtown New York City up to New Haven, Connecticut doesn’t take more than a few hours, but it’s a frustrating drive – especially considering the hefty amount of traffic running along I-95. But it’s not the mileage that’s the issue — it’s an abuse of power.
Sources close to the you told Daily News that you absolutely ordered us to drive his son back and forth between the city and Yale University during his first years at the school.
In fact, the Department of Investigation is looking into whether the allegations might be true.
“I think that story is just unfair and inaccurate in so many ways,” you continued.
You think that because your son is, well…your son, that he has a greater potential of becoming a target.
“Dante was a protectee of the NYPD … There have been threats against him. There have been threats against my family,” you also said.
I joined the NYPD to serve and protect the citizens and guests of New York City, not to be your personal assistant.
I am done running your errands.
And just so you don’t think I am simply letting you off the hook for making officers ferry your son to his Ivy League classes, I want to remind you of the fact that you had us come in and move your daughter.
Remember last summer when we were instructed to act as a moving company for your daughter, Chiara? Remember how she had been living in an apartment at 4th Street at 56th in Brooklyn for approximately two years? Remember how the time came to relocate, instead of calling a private company, you called NYPD to do the heavy lifting. You used detectives and department vehicles on city time to move your daughter.
Not only were officers put to work, in a gross abuse of city resources, but two unmarked Sprinter vans that belong at City Hall were used to collect her personal possessions and transport them to Gracie Mansion? And do you also recall how your wife and First Lady, Chirlane McCray, personally directed our crew?
Breaking news, Your Honor. We don’t work for Chirlane.
Oh, by the way, she instructed us to leave a number of Chiara’s belongings abandoned on the city sidewalk. Dumping and littering is a chronic problem in this city.
A supervisor once told me that we cannot question you.
“It’s all just part of the job. We just do it out of respect.”
And by the way, that $400 bullet-proof vest you borrowed back on 2016 for the comedy sketch you did with the cast of The Wire, we are still waiting to get that back. That is a vest we could put on a cop working the streets.
You do not care about members of law enforcement. And now, your actions (or lack thereof) are becoming a danger to the police.
Perhaps you missed it when former NYPD police chief Louis Anemone was interviewed by Fox, but he criticized you for your treatment of those who hold the thin blue line. For your benefit, here is what he said:
“He does not have their back. I firmly believe that he does not have their back.”
He also said the recent blatant disrespect for New York officers regarding the water bucket assaults would have never happened under the watch of former mayor Rudy Giuliani. He not only had a pulse on the city, he also had our backs.
“It’s disgraceful,” Anemone continued. “He’s the chief executive of this city of New York, the largest city in this country. He has not taken the lead for security, for public security, and for supporting the police. He’s been behind, way behind.”
Mr. Mayor, your actions and attitude toward this police force have bred contempt and hostility in the streets. You are partly to blame for the water assaults.
Yet, we will do what wey need to do in order to maintain control, regardless of what the public will say afterward.
I wish this was all we had on you; but let me continue.
I want to personally thank you for repeatedly warning your son about the “dangers of police brutality.”
“I have had to have very, very serious talks with my son, Dante, about how to protect himself on the streets of our city and all over our country, including how to deal with the fact that he has to take special caution because there have been too many tragedies between our young men and our police.”
Those were your words Mayor.
Even with your belief that we all have a proclivity for violence aimed at innocent young men of color, you still put him in the car with us for the numerous drives to and from New Haven. That leads me to ask: do you even care what happens to your son?
And let’s not forget, you skipped out on a dedication for fallen heroes so that you could go to the gym and drink your morning coffee.
Then you he missed Luis Alvarez’s wake, a 9/11 hero, in order to focus on your joke of a Presidential campaign.
Just so you don’t think I am alone in that belief, one of your administrative staffers said,
“It’s a joke. I think that he knows that he can’t win. It’s just a lot of eye-rolling … He’s doing it because he’s got a big ego and needs to prove something, and I don’t think he’s going to quietly go away and become an adjunct professor at Hunter.”
I will continue to serve and protect, because I love this city and I love what I do.
But you, I have no respect for you. But if you need me to do something for you and your family, that is actually within my job description, then I will be there.
A former ‘personal assistant’ to Mayor Bill de Blasio