September 22, 2016

Stop and frisk: Trump's latest bad idea

The Atlantic

First, stop-and-frisk is already in place in Chicago and other cities, making this idea in keeping with Trump’s habit of suggesting policies, such as “extreme vetting” of refugees, that closely resemble practices that are already in place. (Stop-and-frisk is not federal policy, but it is practiced by police departments across the country.) Second, the best studies suggest that stop-and-frisk does not effectively reduce crime where it is used. Third, court decisions and settlements have acknowledged that the methods used in both New York and Chicago were unconstitutionally discriminatory, setting aside their efficacy. Fourth, one of the two New York mayors who oversaw the implementation of stop-and-frisk, Michael Bloomberg, has blasted Trump, saying, “I'm a New Yorker, and New Yorkers know a con when we see one.”

Moreover, it’s hard to take the proposal seriously as outreach to the black community. National polling on stop-and-frisk is tough to come by, but both anecdotal and statistical data from New York suggest that black citizens view the practice as discriminatory and dehumanizing. In a 2012 Quinnipiac poll, seven in 10 black New Yorkers opposed stop-and-frisk. In 2013, Marist found an even higher proportion, 75 percent, wanted an overhaul.

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