HOUSTON – With his eyes set on earning the Democratic Party nomination for president, Michael Bloomberg visits Houston to gain support from black voters.
Bloomberg launched “Mike for Black America” during his second Houston event Thursday at Buffalo Soldiers National Museum in Midtown. The initiative is meant to represent and uplift African Americans. Bloomberg also apologized for policing policy enacted while he was mayor of New York known as “stop and frisk.”
“I defended, looking back, for too long because I didn’t understand then the unintended pain it was causing to young black and brown families and their kids," said Bloomberg. “I should have acted sooner and faster to stop it. I didn’t and for that, I apologize.”
Before Bloomberg took the stage, Mayor Sylvester Turner announced his support for the former New York City mayor. Turner said he supports Bloomberg because of his willingness to apologize for ‘stop and frisk,’ a controversial New York City practice that disproportionately affected people of color.
“It’s important for me to hear that a recognition that the policy was put in place was not the right policy,” said Turner.
While under the leadership of Bloomberg, New York City police officers were allowed to stop and question people they believed to be engaged in crime without a warrant. Officers often searched young black and Latino men for weapons that were rarely found.
This is not Bloomberg’s first time apologizing for the ‘stop and frisk’ policy. However, earlier this week, 2015 audio recordings of Bloomberg defending the policy emerged. The release of the tapes has reignited tension regarding the policy.