(CNSNews.com) - Democratic presidential candidate Mayor MIchael Bloomberg admitted on Tuesday that while serving as mayor of New York City, he let stop and frisk get out of control, but he said he apologized and cut back by 95 percent.
Bloomberg said he has increased jobs and housing for minorities and improved the school system for “black and brown students.”
Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg said Bloomberg’s implementation of stop and frisk was racist, because it was based on stopping people based on their race.
He added that Bloomberg even said that police “disproportionately stopped white people too often and minorities too little.”
Buttigieg said he approaches the issue of racial justice with humility given his own experience with the issue as the mayor of South Bend, Ind., and he’s “conscious of the fact that there’s seven white people on this stage talking about racial justice.”
“I come at this with a great deal of humility, because we have had a lot of issues, especially when it comes to racial justice and policing in my own community, and I come to this with some humility because I'm conscious of the fact that there’s seven white people on this stage talking about racial justice.
CBS’s Gayle King: All right, sir. Mayor Bloomberg, I'd like to bring you into this conversation. I want to ask you about a question that impacts the black and brown community. You've apologized for stop and frisk repeatedly. What exactly are you apologizing for?
Bloomberg: We let it get out of control and when I realized that, I cut it back by 95%. And I've apologized and asked for forgiveness. I've met with black leaders to try to get an understanding of how I can better position myself and what I should have done and what I should do next time. But let me tell you, I have been working very hard. We've improved the school system for black and brown students in New York City. We've increased the jobs that are available to them. We've increased the housing that's available to them.
King: But what more can you do about this issue, Mr. Mayor, to put people's fears and skepticism to rest? It continues to follow you.
Bloomberg: Well, that's because it's in their interest to promote that, but if you talk to the people in New York City, I have over 100 black elected officials that have endorsed me. A lot of them are in the audience tonight. And I've earned the respect of the people in New York City. I was the mayor of the largest, most populous city in the United States for 12 years, and people will tell you it's a lot better city today. It is safer for everybody. The school system is better. The budget's under control. We've done the things that people need in New York City for all ethnicities.
King: Mayor buttigieg? Mayor to mayor, mayor to mayor, you've certainly had your issues with the black community as well. Do you think the New York City's implementation of stop and frisk was racist?
Buttigieg: Yes, in effect, it was, because it was about profiling people based on their race. And the mayor even said that they disproportionately stopped white people too often and minorities too little, and I'm not here to score points. I come at this with a great deal of humility, because we have had a lot of issues, especially when it comes to racial justice and policing in my own community. And I come to this with some humility because I'm conscious of the fact that there’s seven white people on this stage talking about racial justice.
None of us-- none of us have the experience, the lived experience of-- for example, walking down the street, or in a mall, and feeling eyes on us, regarding us as dangerous, without knowing the first thing about us just because of the color of our skin. None of us had the experience that black women have had that drives that maternal mortality gap that we are all rightly horrified by, of going into a doctor, and being less likely to have your description of being in pain believed because of your race. Since we don't have the experience the next best thing we can do is listen to those who do.
Bloomberg: Wait a second, I know if I was black my success would have been a lot harder to achieve. And I know a lot of black people that if they were white it would have been a lot easier for them. That's just a fact, and we've got to do something about it rather than just demagogue about it.