New York, Nov 18 : Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York who has made moves towards running as a 2020 presidential candidate, has apologised for backing the city's "stop and frisk" policy, it was reported on Monday.
The stop-and-frisk policy which refers to a brief non-intrusive police stop of a suspect, disproportionately targeted black and Latino residents in New York City, the BBC reported.
Speaking at the Christian Cultural Centre, an African-American church in Brooklyn, Bloomberg on Sunday said the policy was a mistake.
He believed that stop-and-frisk saved lives, he said, but accepted that good intentions were not good enough.
"I can't change history... However, today I want you to know that I realise back then, I was wrong, and I'm sorry. But I also want you to know that I am more committed than ever to ending gun violence," he said.
Bloomberg, who was Mayor of the city from 2002 until 2013, added that the policy "eroded what we had worked so hard to build: trust".
"Trust between police and communities, trust between you and me... And the erosion of the trust bothered me, deeply. And it still bothers me. And I want to earn it back," the BBC quoted Bloomberg as saying.
Although he hasn't formally announced his candidacy, Bloomberg has indicated that he may join the Democratic race for the presidency ahead of next year's election.