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Donald Trump’s stop-and-frisk proposal raises questions

Donald Trump, on Wednesday, proposed instituting a nationwide version of New York City’s controversial stop-and-frisk policing tactics, sparking immediate outrage.

The Republican presidential nominee’s remarks came during a taped interview on Fox News’ Hannity after being asked how he would decrease violence in African-American communities. The policing strategy allowed officers to briefly detain an individual based on reasonable suspicion of involvement in criminal activity but was ruled unconstitutional in 2013.

“It worked incredibly well [in New York City] and you have to be proactive,” Trump said in the town hall meeting.

But according to a study by the Urban Institute, the application of stop-and-frisk in New York City was concentrated on communities of color and not particularly effective. Researchers found that nearly 30 percent of all stops conducted in New York City between 2004 and 2010 were made on either an illegal or questionable basis.

The study highlighted a survey of 500 young New Yorkers living in heavily patrolled areas. Less than a third of respondents were ever notified of the reason for why they were stopped. Nearly half of the respondents reported being threatened or having force used against them during a stop. More than half say they were treated worse because of their race or ethnicity.

In 2013, a federal judge struck down New York’s stop-and-frisk policy ruling that the tactic violated constitutional rights of minorities.

“No one should live in fear of being stopped whenever he leaves his home to go about the activities of daily life,” the Judge Shira A. Scheindlin wrote in her decision.

Trump has referred to himself as the “law and order candidate” and has made law enforcement a top priority in his platform. His comments on stop-and-frisk drew quick backlash, including from New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“He literally does not understand what he’s talking about,” de Blasio said. De Blasio cited the city’s dropping crime numbers since stop-and-frisk shut down. He has also pledged to reform policing in New York by pursuing a strong anti-racial profiling bill.

Trump has since attempted to clarify his statements, saying he wants stop-and-frisk policies focused just on Chicago, where violent acts — including homicides — have reached record levels.

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