Posted on February 28, 2020

Bloomberg Should Promise Reparations to ‘People He Harmed’ with Stop-and-Frisk Policy, Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Says

Chantal Da Silva, Newsweek, February 26, 2020

As far as Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors is concerned, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg has no business running in the 2020 Democratic presidential race.

Both Bloomberg and former Vice President Joe Biden, Cullors told Newsweek on Wednesday, need to step aside and let more progressive candidates take the reins in the fight to unseat President Donald Trump.


Cullors said that while she would be “happy with either” Sanders or Warren, she would be disappointed to see either Biden or Bloomberg chosen as the Democratic nominee to go up against Trump come November.

Biden, she said, helped write the controversial 1994 “tough on crime” bill that many criminal justice reform advocates say played a key role in enforcing mass incarceration in the U.S. in the 1990s.

“And then, obviously, we know Mike Bloomberg’s history of ‘stop and frisk,'” which she said essentially unfolded as a “war against black people and war against brown people.”

Given Bloomberg’s legacy of having allowed the New York City Police Department to temporarily detain, question and search civilians they deemed to be suspicious, Cullors questioned whether it is “even ethical for him to run, given the kind of chaos he supported in New York City.”

Earlier this month, Bloomberg apologized for the policy, despite having repeatedly defended it while serving as mayor of New York and even after his time as mayor had ended.


Cullors said the former mayor’s apology is simply not enough. {snip}

Asked what Bloomberg might have to do in order to take responsibility for his actions, Cullors said, first of all: “I don’t think he should be running for president. I don’t think Biden should be running for president. But, because they are running for president, there are things they could push for.”

In Bloomberg’s case, the former New York mayor could push for reparations “for the people who he harmed” with his stop-and-frisk policy, Cullors said. He should be “identifying the ways in which he created major harm in New York City and, you know, putting forward a position on reparations for the people who he harmed.”

While Cullors acknowledged that Bloomberg cannot go back and change his actions as mayor, she said that as president, he could try to address the harm that he himself caused. “There’s a whole lot more he could do,” she said.


Instead of seeking to address the harm caused by stop and frisk through actions, rather than simply words, Cullors said, Bloomberg has been “spending hundreds of millions of dollars on ads.” {snip}