By Servet Gunerigok
WASHINGTON (AA) - Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has apologized for backing the police department’s "stop-and-frisk" policy during his time in office.
The policy permitted police to momentarily detain and pat down or search a person suspected of criminal activity. The vast majority of those stopped were African American and Latino men.
"I can't change history. However, today I want you to know that I realize back then I was wrong and I'm sorry," Bloomberg said while addressing a congregation at the Christian Cultural Center, a black church in Brooklyn, on Sunday.
His apology came ahead of a possible 2020 Democratic presidential campaign, a move seen as a strategy to gain the support of black and Hispanic communities.
"I got something important really wrong. I didn’t understand back then the full impact that stops were having on the black and Latino communities," he said. "I was totally focused on saving lives. But as we know, good intentions aren’t good enough".
Bloomberg served as Republican mayor of the city from 2002 until 2013.