Donald Trump Embraces Wider Use of Stop-and-Frisk by Police

Screen Shot 2016-09-22 at 10.53.56 AMMICHAEL BARBARO

MAGGIE HABERMAN

YAMICHE ALCINDOR

Thursday, September 22, 2016

 

Good Thursday morning.
Donald J. Trump on Wednesday called for the broad use of the contentious stop-and-frisk policing strategy in America’s cities, embracing an aggressive tactic whose legality has been challenged and whose enforcement has been abandoned in New York.
His support for the polarizing crime-fighting policy — which involves officers’ questioning and searching pedestrians — collides with his highly visible courtship of African-Americans, who have been disproportionately singled out by the tactic, data show. It also came as police shootings were once again drawing scrutiny and protest.
Mr. Trump has long championed stop-and-frisk as a crime-fighting tool in his hometown, New York, but on Wednesday he recommended that it be deployed in cities across the country that are struggling to control violence.
It was also the latest twist in Mr. Trump’s awkward, and at times counterproductive, outreach to black voters, who polls suggest remain deeply skeptical of him — and it occurred right after a prominent black supporter, Don King, used a racial epithet as he introduced Mr. Trump at a church in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.
As Mr. King, the retired boxing promoter, sought to explain how society unfairly categorizes African-Americans, he referred to a “dancing and sliding and gliding nigger,” before quickly correcting himself. “I mean Negro,” he said as Mr. Trump looked on a few feet behind him, grinning.
Mr. Trump described his enthusiasm for stop-and-frisk during a town-hall-style discussion, also in Cleveland Heights, after a voter pressed him on how he would reduce violence in black communities. “One of the things I’d do,” he said, “is 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.”
The largely white audience erupted into applause. Black leaders reacted swiftly and harshly.
“The idea of creating a national stop-and-frisk policy is the equivalent of advancing martial law and is beyond the constitutional power of the presidency,” Marc H. Morial, president of the National Urban League, said in an email.
Stop-and-frisk has become a source of enormous tension between police officers and black residents in the cities that have deployed it as a crime-fighting tool.
Once credited with significantly reducing murders in urban centers like New York by removing weapons and drugs from the street, it has drawn protests and legal challenges. About 83 percent of the stops in New York from 2004 to 2012 involved blacks and Hispanics, even though those two groups make up just slightly more than 50 percent of the city’s residents.
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