Democratic presidential candidate Michael R. Bloomberg is having a rough day.
As of this afternoon, “#BloombergIsRacist” is the second-highest trending hashtag on Twitter and has accumulated over 56.5 thousand tweets. The tweets are pouring in from users who are accusing the former mayor of New York City of supporting and enabling policies that specifically target minorities and people of color.
At the center of the accusations is a 2015 audio clip of the former mayor defending the city’s stop-and-frisk policy, which mostly targeted young African American and Latino males during police stops, Pix11.com reported this afternoon.
“Ninety-five 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,” Bloomberg reportedly said.
“They are male, minorities, 16-25. That’s true in New York, that’s true in virtually every city… And that’s where the real crime is. You’ve got to get the guns out of the hands of people that are getting killed.”
The clip resurfaced on social media on Monday and went viral shortly after.
President Donald Trump was one of the Twitter users to perpetuate the hashtag, tweeting, “WOW, BLOOMBERG IS A TOTAL RACIST!” and adding a link to the recording.
Within minutes, however, the tweet was deleted, but not before garnering thousands of likes and retweets, per the New York Post.
The move is the latest in the feud between the billionaires, who have continuously taken shots at each other as the 2020 presidential election nears, per The Inquisitr.
Bloomberg announced he was running for the commander-in-chief post in November 2019. The former mayor said he was prepared to spend as much as one billion dollars to beat Trump.
“Defeating Donald Trump — and rebuilding America — is the most urgent and important fight of our lives. And I’m going all in,” Bloomberg said.
Even though Bloomberg had long been a supporter of the stop-and-frisk policy, which was ruled unconstitutional, the billionaire switched up his view just ahead of announcing his bid for president, knowing it would cause backlash for his campaign. He stated that he couldn’t change the past and apologized to anyone who had been a victim of the policy or wrongfully arrested.
Bloomberg apologized again for his statements in the audio clip earlier today, saying that by the time he was out of office the policy was cut back by 95 percent but he should have tackled the issue quicker. He added that his past support of the policy is not reflective of his views on criminal justice reform today.