Mike Bloomberg Should Stop And Question His Reversal On ‘Stop, Question And Frisk’


Publish Date:
January 30, 2020
The Hill
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In March 2019, Mike Bloomberg said he would not run for president because he was not willing to engage in an “apology tour.” By contrast, scoffed the former New York mayor, Joe Biden had “apologized for the one piece of legislation which is actually a pretty good anti-crime bill,” as well as for being “white, male, and over 50,” in Bloomberg’s words.

Perhaps Bloomberg owes the former vice president an apology. Bloomberg kicked off his own presidential campaign last November with an equally gratuitous mea culpa, repudiating his support as mayor for the police tactic of stop, question and frisk. “I got something important really wrong,” he said at the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn. “I didn’t understand that back then, the full impact that stops were having on the black and Latino communities.”

Proposition number two: Stop, question and frisk does not lower crime. Expert opinion holds the contrary. A 2018 study by the National Academy of Sciences concluded that stops targeting crime hot spots lower violence. In 2015 George Mason criminologist David Weisburd found that the NYPD’s use of the tactic had deterred crime. Robert Weisberg, co-director of the Stanford Criminal Justice Center, has argued that proactive stops are the “most important thing police can do to reduce crime.”

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