Donald Trump called for boosting controversial “stop-and-frisk” policing to curb inner-city violence Wednesday.
“I would do stop and frisk. I think you have to. We did it in New York, it worked incredibly well. And you have to be proactive,” Trump said during a pre-taped interview with Sean Hannity for a Wednesday night broadcast on Fox News. “You know, you really help people sort of change their mind automatically.”
Stop-and-frisk practices allow police to detain and search people on the basis of a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity — which has to be based on “specific and articulable facts" — even though critics say officers might not have specific evidence of a crime being committed. Critics of the practice say it causes racial profiling and disproportionately affects minorities, as the Supreme Court ruled it did under the New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk program.
Trump was responding to a question about recent violence in African American communities.
“I see what's going on here, I see what's going on in Chicago, I think stop and frisk, in New York City, it was so incredible, the way it worked. Now, we had a very good mayor. But New York City was incredible the way that worked. So I think that would be one step you could do,” Trump continued.
When Rudy Giuliani was mayor of New York in 1990s the crime in the city went down. Giuliani — who is one of Trump’s top advisers and surrogates — and his allies attribute the drop in crime to his tough police tactics, but there were other factors that analysts point to as well. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio was elected mayor in 2013 in part on promise to end the city's stop-and-frisk program. And in 2015, New York Police commissioner Bill Bratton said that there was no correlation between the practice and the drop in violent crime.
Trump’s comments come in the wake of two fatal police shootings of African Americans over the last week and protests that have erupted in response.