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  • U.S. Representative AOC, one of the leaders of the Democratic party's progressives, endorsed Bernie Sanders for the White House.

    U.S. Representative AOC, one of the leaders of the Democratic party's progressives, endorsed Bernie Sanders for the White House. | Photo: EFE

Published 13 February 2020
Opinion

Ocasio-Cortez told reporters on Wednesday that Bloomberg’s apology was inadequate.

United States Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slammed Thursday Democratic presidential candidate and businessman Michael Bloomberg over his record as the mayor of New York City and the contentious “stop and frisk” policy he backed while in office.

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Ocasio-Cortez said Bloomberg is "just a billionaire trying to cover up authoritarian and racist policy," if he does not take action to provide relief to the victims of the damaging policy.

"Will people get their records expunged? Will young people sucked into the spiderweb of incarceration get their lives back?" Ocasio-Cortez , who has endorsed Bernie Sanders as Democratic candidate, asked on Twitter.

Her comments came as a response to Bloomberg magazine’s publication of an article about their owner’s efforts to “move past” his record on “stop and frisk.”

"Unless there is restorative justice, there is no 'moving on' from stop and frisk," Ocasio-Cortez added.

Bloomberg’s record as mayor came under renewed scrutiny in recent days after host Benjamin Dixon posted to Twitter an audio clip of a 2015 speech in which the presidential hopeful defended “stop and frisk,” dismissing its harm on victims’ lives. 

The billionaire could be heard saying, “95 percent of murders, murderers and murder victims fit one M.O. You can just take a description, Xerox it, and pass it out to all the cops.”

“They are male, minorities, 16 to 25. That’s true in New York, that’s true in virtually every city [...].”

After the clip went viral and criticism poured in, the former mayor tried to distance himself from his own comments. "This issue and my comments about it do not reflect my commitment to criminal justice reform and racial equity," he said in a statement.

Ocasio Cortez told reporters on Wednesday that Bloomberg’s apology was inadequate.

"I think quite a few things happened under him as mayor," said Ocasio-Cortez. "Frankly, we all know 'stop and frisk'—that was my family, and that was my community, and that was my neighborhood, and we know this was a policy that decimated a lot of families."

'Stop, question and frisk' is a New York Police Department policy allowing police to arrest and question people on the streets, and search them if they have a “reasonable suspicion” that the individual in question "committed, is committing, or is about to commit a felony or a Penal Law misdemeanor."

The vast majority of those arrested were black or Hispanic, according to several reports.

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