I noticed that Charles Blow took a hard and lacerating look at Bloomberg’s history with stop-and-frisk yesterday in the Times. For those of you who don’t want to waste a precious Times click on that, Alex Pareene has a pretty exhaustive review of the same topic at the New Republic today:
Occupy and the 2004 RNC were special events, which, to Bloomberg and his defenders, justified the bulldozing of civil liberties. But his entire mayoralty was defined less by these mass displays of authoritarian force than by the everyday abuses his police committed against millions of New Yorkers of color as part of his police department’s stop-and-frisk policy. The NYCLU reports that the NYPD made more than five million “stops” during Bloomberg’s 12 years in office. The overwhelming majority of those targeted were black or Latino.
When a federal judge finally ruled the NYPD’s tactics unconstitutional, Bloomberg essentially threw a tantrum, accusing her of being anti-cop and insinuating that she would have blood on her hands once the murder rate crawled back up. (The bad old days will return if we ever take our foot off the necks of black New Yorkers is a common refrain in New York politics, and it’s one Bloomberg was happy to endorse while campaigning for his third term alongside his predecessor, one Rudy Giuliani.)
The idea that someone can swoop in and win the nomination at the last minute and not have all of this stuff come out is part of the fantasy of the rich latecomer candidate. But if dreams came true, oh, wouldn’t that be nice? Well, this ain’t no dream we’re living through tonight.