‘Stop and Frisk’ Creates an Endless Cycle of Police Violence

Donald Trump’s support of stop and frisk is another example of the candidate offering failed and discriminatory solutions to complex problems.

By Jeffery Robinson, Deputy Legal Director, ACLU

This piece originally ran at TIME.com.

As we get closer to Election Day, presidential candidates are sharing more of their proposed policies on a number of issues they believe to be important to voters and the country. At a town hall Wednesday taped for the Fox show Hannity, someone in the audience asked Donald Trump how he will address “black-on-black” crime if he became president. He respondedthat he’d “do stop and frisk — I think you have to.”

Trump went on to say that stop and frisk “worked incredibly well” in his hometown, New York City, and by implication, that this style of policing protected innocent black people from black people with criminal intent. (On Thursday he walked back his comments and said he was referring specifically to its use in Chicago.)

But studies have shown that that just isn’t true. In New York City in 2010, people of color accounted for 87% of those stopped by police, 54% of them Black in a city where just 25% of the population was Black. In addition to this sharp racial disparity, 86% of all the people stopped by police were innocent. Not only do these statistics prove the program is completely ineffective, they help explain strained relations between law enforcement and people of color and the feelings of humiliation and demoralization that victims of baseless stop and frisk often experience.

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