Things That Matter

Michael Bloomberg Apologizes For Stop-And-Frisk Policy But A Racially-Charged Audio Clip Shows A Different Side

An audio clip is circulating that shows Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg’s full-throated support of stop and frisk and racial profiling. The candidate has tried to distance himself from the racist and dangerous policy that did more damage to minority communities than it solved crimes.

Presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg’s own words supporting racial profiling are coming back to haunt him.

The clip is from a speech the former mayor of New York gave in 2015. In the speech, he not only defends the use of stop and frisk but uses racist stereotypes and tropes to make his point. Bloomberg admits that he wants his police force to racially profile people in order to make the arrests. How? Well, Bloomberg believes that you can send the police to minority communities because that is where the crimes are committed. He also claimed that the victims and murderers fit one M.O. so you can Xerox the description to all of the police so any Black or brown person should be treated as a criminal subjected to unconstitutional searches.

But, don’t worry. Bloomberg feels bad about it now and wishes he acted sooner.

Before the event in Houston, Bloomberg tried to brag about how he cut back the program by 95 percent before he left the office of Mayor of New York City. However, what he fails to tell people is that during his time in office, he expanded the stop and frisk program. He also pressured the police force to keep the number of arrests and stops with stop and frisk at very high levels for years. He only cut back the program because his office was facing numerous and mounting lawsuits and political pressure.

Basically, Bloomberg is now apologizing for a program he embraced and expanded while mayor of New York. He is now backpedaling his racist comments and association to the program because he is running for president. Does he have any actual remorse? That’s yet to be proven.

In speaking to potential voters at the Christian Cultural Center, a Black church in Brooklyn, Bloomberg showed remorse for his handling of the controversial stop-and-frisk policy. During his 12-year tenure as mayor and well after he left office, Bloomberg defended the policing strategy which allowed city officers to stop and search anyone they suspected of committing a crime.

“I was determined to improve police-community relations while at the same time reducing crime even further,” Bloomberg said at the church. “Our focus was on saving lives. But the fact is: Far too many innocent people were being stopped.”

Statistics show that the policy didn’t work as it should have and instead targeted people of color in the community, most notably Black and Latino residents.  

Credit: @ava / Twitter

The stop-and-frisk policy was in place long before Bloomberg took office in 2002 and has long been viewed as a policy that directly targeted Black and Latino communities. The strategy allowed city police to detain an individual and subject them to unnecessary searches sometimes to look for possible weapons, drugs or other paraphernalia. An officer would have to have a reasonable belief that the person is, has been, or is about to be involved in a crime. The purpose of the policy was to deter violent crime in the city but, in return, it destroyed police-community relations for years in New York. 

“The temperature in the city at the time was that the police were at war with Black and brown people on the streets,” Jenn Rolnick-Borchetta, the director of impact litigation at the Bronx Defenders, told the New York Times. “And that is how people experienced it.”

Statistics show that Black and Latino people were nine times as likely as white people to be stopped by police officers when it came to the policy. They were no more likely to be arrested, the New York Times reported back in May 2010.

During Bloomberg’s tenure as New York City mayor, there was a huge spike in the overall use of the stop-and-frisk policy. According to the New York Times, the number of stops reached a peak of 685,724 in 2011 and then fell to 191,851 in 2013. In Bloomberg’s 12 year tenure as mayor, there were 5,081,689 stops by police recorded. 

Political pundits and criminal justice reform advocates are fiercely criticizing Bloomberg’s sudden backtracking on the controversial policy.

Credit: @NYCmayor / Twitter

There has been a growing wave of criticism for Bloomberg’s sudden policy walk back that is coming just as he is set to announce his 20202 campaign run. Many are criticizing Bloomberg as changing his tune in an attempt to appeal to the voters once terrorized by a policy he spent over a decade defending. One of the most high profile critics has been current New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who dropped out of the 2020 presidential race earlier this year. 

“This is LONG overdue and the timing is transparent and cynical,” Mayor de Blasio tweeted.“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.”

Another critic was social justice advocate Shawn King who decried Bloomberg’s apology. He voiced what some see as a political walk back in midst of a potential run at president. 

“BULLSHIT. After years of running the Apartheid-like policy of stopping and frisking millions of people of color throughout New York City, and then defending it every day in office, then every day he was out of office up until this week, @MikeBloomberg,” King tweeted

Many view his apology as a way to try to gain Black and Latino voters. More importantly, it is seen as an attempt to regain years of lost trust between him and the community. 

Credit: @amandawrites / Twitter

“The fact is, far too many innocent people were being stopped while we tried to do that. The overwhelming majority of them were black and Latino,” Bloomberg told church attendees on Sunday. “That may have included, I’m sorry to say, some of you here today. Perhaps yourself or your children, or your grandchildren, or your neighbors, or your relatives.”

There is one notable person that has voiced his approval in Bloomberg’s apology, Rev. Al Sharpton, who said the former mayor reached out to him. He says that history will be the judge of the policy-making that Bloomberg had in New York City. 

“Whatever his motive is, I’m glad that he’s taking this stand,” Sharpton told the Daily News. “We will have to wait and see whether it was politically motivated but Mr. Bloomberg should be judged by the same standards we judged Joe Biden, the author of the 1994 Crime Bill that led to disproportionate numbers of Black and brown men going to jail for years, as well as Senator Bernie Sanders, who voted for it.”

READ: This Latina Housekeeper Was Accused Of Theft After She Found Lady Gaga’s Golden Globes Gown And Put It Up For Sale Months Later

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The New ‘In The Heights’ Trailer Is Out And You’ll Wish You Were In This Latino Fairytale

Entertainment

The New ‘In The Heights’ Trailer Is Out And You’ll Wish You Were In This Latino Fairytale

Warner Bros

There is a new “In The Heights” trailer and release date and fans are getting excited (again)! This is the second time that Warner Bros. has released a trailer to tease the release of “In The Heights” but Covid derailed its first release. Here’s to summer of 2021!

Here’s the new trailer for “In The Heights.”

“In The Heights” is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first wildly successful musical before “Hamilton. The show is based in Washington Heights, a Latino and immigrant enclave in New York City where music runs through the streets and the residents.

Usnavi, portrayed by Anthony Ramos, is the protagonist who is central to the community. He runs a bodega that everyone visits and it isn’t long until he and his large community fight back to protect their friends and family.

The story has it all from love to despair to triumph.

Usnavi is in love with Vanessa, portrayed by Melissa Barrera, and their love story grows alongside the community through the summer. At the same time, it seems that Abuela Claudia, portrayed by Olga Merediz, is facing deportation and the community comes to her defense to keep her here.

Miranda and Jon M. Cho, the director of “Crazy Rich Asians,” beautifully captured the resilience and diversity of our neighborhoods. Actors Stephanie Beatriz, Dascha Polanco, and Leslie Grace bring the play to life on the big screen in a big way.

Fans cannot wait to see the new movie offering Latinos so much representation.

People have been anxiously waiting for this moment since 2008. That was the year that Universal Pictures announced their plans to make the movie adaptation of the play. It was supposed to be released in 2011 until Universals Pictures dropped the project. Then The Weinstein Company acquired the rights, however, Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct came to light and Miranda pulled the rights in response. Warner Bros. then got the rights in 2018 and we had our first trailer in 2019. It was slated to be released in June 2020 and the Covid caused the company to cancel the movie’s release. Now, with a deal with HBOMax, Warner Bros. will finally release “In The Heights” more than 10 years after fans were promised a movie.

“In The Heights” will be on HBOMax on June 18, 2021.

READ: The Trailer For ‘In The Heights’ Is Finally Here And It Looks Like A Latino Fairytale

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Georgia Prosecutors Are Opening A Criminal Investigation Into The Infamous Trump Call Asking For More Votes

Things That Matter

Georgia Prosecutors Are Opening A Criminal Investigation Into The Infamous Trump Call Asking For More Votes

Alex Wong / Getty Images

Update January 10, 2020

Former President Donald Trump called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in December begging for him to overturn the election results. He asked for the secretary of state to find 11,780 votes to flip the results of the state. Prosecutors have officially opened a criminal investigation into the phone call.

Fulton County prosecutor Fani Willis is leading a criminal probe into Trump’s desperate Georgia call.

Trump was recorded in a call desperately begging for Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to overturn the election. Newly elected Democratic prosecutor for Fulton County Fani Willis sent a letter asking that all documents about the call be preserved. The letter is seeking the information for “an investigation into attempts to influence” the election in Georgia.

“It has come to our attention via media reports that contacts were made by subjects of the investigation with other agencies that could be investigating this matter, including the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the United States Attorney’s office for the Northern District of Georgia. As such, this office is the one agency with jurisdiction that is not a witness to the conduct that is the subject of the investigation,” reads the letter. “This agency has jurisdiction over this matter because this judicial circuit is where the Georgia government entities that were contacted are headquartered including the Office of the Governor, the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the General Assembly.”

Original: President Donald Trump continues on his campaign to overturn the election results after losing to President-elect Joe Biden. In recently leaked audio, President Trump was recorded begging the Georgia secretary of state to change the results to give him the presidency.

President Donald Trump is still begging states to overturn election results.

President Trump lost the 2020 presidential election after President-elect Joe Biden managed to flip Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, Georgia, and Pennsylvania. For two months, President Trump has done everything possible to invalidate votes and change the election results.

“The people of Georgia are angry, the people of the country are angry,” President Trump said during his hour-long call with Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. “And there’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, that you’ve recalculated.”

Legislators are calling the phone call a clear impeachable offense.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has unequivocally called President Trump’s call an impeachable offense. It is similar to the phone call with Ukrainian officials that led to President Trump’s impeachment earlier in his terms. President Trump’s Ukraine call caused problems because he was begging Ukrainian officials to dig up dirt on his political opponent.

“I absolutely think it’s an impeachable offense, and if it was up to me, there would be articles on the floor quite quickly, but he, I mean, he is trying to — he is attacking our very election. He’s attacking our very election,” Rep. AOC told reporters at the start of Congress’ new session.

Politicians are calling the phone call an abuse of power.

Vice Preisdent-elect Kamala Harris called the phone call a “bald-faced, bold abuse of power by the President of the United States.” President Trump lost Georgia by 11,779 votes and he asked Secretary Raffensperger to claim he recalculated and give him 11,780 votes to flip Georgia.

An intern monitoring the phone lines for Secretary Raffensperger first thought that the phone calls were pranks calls. The White House attempted to contact Secretary Raffensperger 18 times before the call was finally patched through.

A coalition of representatives is joining together to censure President Trump because of the call.

Rep. Hank Johnson, a Democrat representing Georgia, has filed a resolution censuring President Trump because of his call attempting to overturn the Georgia election results.

GOP leadership and politicians are torn over the issue. Some GOP senators are looking to vote against the certification of votes in the Senate. Others are calling on their colleagues to do the right thing and uphold our democracy.

“I plan on honoring that oath by supporting the state certifications and the will of the people. I will vote to certify in accordance with my duty under the Constitution,” Ohio GOP Sen. Rob Portman, who faces reelection in 2022, said in a statement. “I cannot support allowing Congress to thwart the will of the voters.”

READ: Here’s What You Can Expect Now That President Trump Has Been Impeached By The House Of Representatives

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