WASHINGTON, Sept. 21 (UPI) — Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump embraced the nationwide implementation of a controversial police procedure that has been ruled unconstitutional known as “stop-and-frisk” as a means of reducing crime and violence during a town hall event.
Trump’s comments were in response to a black voter’s question about violence in the black community and “black-on-black crime.” Trump responded, saying the New York Police Department’s implementation of stop-and-frisk, which empowered officers to stop any citizen and search them even if they were not suspected of a crime, worked “incredibly well.”
“I think you have to [do it],” Trump said. “We did it in New York, it worked incredibly well and you have to be proactive. Now, we had a very good mayor, but New York City was incredible, the way that worked, so I think that could be one step you could do.”
The comment came during a prerecorded town hall event on Fox News with anchor Sean Hannity, a Trump supporter. The event, which was centered on issues pertaining specifically to minorities, was scheduled to be broadcast Wednesday night but was pre-empted for coverage of violent protests in Charlotte, N.C., after a fatal police shooting of a black man there, the aftermath of which was captured in a live Facebook video by the victim’s daughter.
Stop-and-frisk was implemented by then-New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani in the 2000s, and drew condemnation from minorities who said they were disproportionately targeted for searches by police when they had done nothing wrong.
The New York Civil Liberties Union, one of several civil rights groups that sued the city over stop-and-frisk, presented data showing fewer than 10 percent of searches under the policy resulted in an arrest and minorities were disproportionately subjected.
The NYPD significantly scaled back the policy in 2013, after a federal court sided with the civil liberties groups, ruling stop-and-frisk violated the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, which prohibits “unreasonable searches and seizures” by the government.
In another clip from the town hall released by Fox, Trump reiterated comments he made before a group of black pastors earlier Wednesday, when he questioned why a white police officer in Tulsa, Okla., shot and killed an unarmed black man during a routine stop.
Trump said it appeared from video released of the altercation the officer “choked” and shot the victim, despite him having his hands in the air.