CLEVELAND -- Donald Trump, a longtime fan of "stop-and-frisk" policing, said to a crowd in Cleveland Wednesday night that he believes the controversial practice could help reduce crime in America’s black communities if implemented on a national level.
Stop and frisk works. Instead of criticizing @NY_POLICE Chief Ray Kelly, New Yorkers should be thanking him for keeping NY safe.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 3, 2013
“Stop-and-frisk” refers to a policy that allows police officers to question and search pedestrians regardless of whether that officer believes a crime has actually been committed. Proponents of the practice claim that such stops can fight crime preemptively by allowing police to identify and arrest people carrying illegal substances or firearms.
“New York City was incredible, the way that worked, so I think that could be one step you could do," Trump said in response to an audience member's question about preventing violence in black communities.
In fact, NYPD’s widespread stop-and-frisk practices were criticized as discriminatory by many and ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge in 2013. Statistical studies of the stops made by NYPD officers showed that about 83 percent of pedestrians searched between 2004 and 2012 were black or Latino, according to the New York Times.
Judge Shira Scheindlin wrote in her ruling that it was a “policy of indirect racial profiling."
The city appealed the judge’s ruling, but current New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has worked to distance himself from the practice, which was once a treasured law enforcement staple of his Republican predecessor Rudy Giuliani.
Giuliani is now a prominent Trump supporter; de Blasio, a Democrat, has campaigned for his party’s nominee, Hillary Clinton.
de Blasio rejected Trump’s comments point-blank on Wednesday, according to New York Daily News reporter Erin Durkin.
“He literally does not know what he’s talking about," de Blasio said. “He’s either ignorant of the history of the city or he’s lying about it."