In US South, Bloomberg Aims to Move Past Stop-And-Frisk Remarks

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CHATTANOOGA, TENN. – Michael Bloomberg sought to move past newly resurfaced years-old comments in which he defended the controversial “stop-and-frisk” policing tactic that has been found to disproportionately affect minorities.
    
The billionaire former New York City mayor, who is now seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, launched a two-day tour of the South intended to build relationships with African Americans, who are a crucial voting bloc for the party. During a stop in Chattanooga on Wednesday, he told reporters: “We’re going to do very well in the African American community.”
    
“They need a good economy, they need better schools, they need more health care, they need jobs and those are the kinds of things that I can bring to the table,” he said.
    
His trip began the same day that a trio of endorsements was announced from members of the Congressional Black Caucus, including Georgia Rep. Lucy McBath, a prominent gun control activist.
    
Bloomberg is testing how voters will respond to his unconventional approach to clinching the Democratic nomination to take on President Donald Trump. While most candidates have focused on the traditional early voting states, Bloomberg has taken his campaign and his sizable financial resources into places like Tennessee that vote on Super Tuesday. And although the Democratic contest has barely begun, he’s campaigning with the air of a front-runner, announcing plans on Wednesday to open an office in New Hampshire to keep the state in the Democratic column this fall.