Donald Trump on Crime
2016 Republican nominee for President; 2000 Reform Primary Challenger for President
The important distinction here is that stop and frisk as a tactic is constitutional. The way it was applied in New York City, and as it was challenged in the lawsuit that Trump was referring to, was found unconstitutional. Blacks and Hispanics who were stopped by New York police sued the city, arguing that they were targeted for stops in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.
The Center for Constitutional Rights, which argued the case on behalf of the plaintiffs, confirmed that the practice was found unconstitutional in the 2013 case. But NYPD rejected the claim that stop and frisk is unconstitutional, saying Scheindlin ordered remedies to ensure the agency "applies the lawful policing tool constitutionally."
TRUMP: Stop and frisk worked very well in New York. It brought the crime rate way down. You take the gun away from criminals that shouldn't be having it. We have gangs roaming the street. And in many cases, they're illegal immigrants. And they have guns. And they shoot people. And we have to be very vigilant. Right now, our police, in many cases, are afraid to do anything. We have to protect our inner cities, because African-American communities are being decimated by crime.
Q: Stop-and-frisk was ruled unconstitutional in New York, because it largely singled out black and Hispanic young men.
TRUMP: No, you're wrong. Our new mayor refused to go forward with the case. They would have won on appeal. There are many places where it's allowed.
Q: The argument is that it's a form of racial profiling.
TRUMP: No, the argument is that we have to take the guns away from bad people that shouldn't have them. You have to have stop-and-frisk.
A: We need law and order. If we don't have it, we're not going to have a country. I just got today the endorsement of the Fraternal Order of Police. We have endorsements from almost every police group, a large percentage of them in the US. We have a situation where we have our inner cities, African- Americans, Hispanics are living in he'll because it's so dangerous. You walk down the street, you get shot.
TRUMP: The police are absolutely mistreated and misunderstood, and if there is an incident--whether it's an incident done purposely, which is a horror, and you should really take very strong action--or if it is a mistake, it's on your newscasts, and it never ends. The police in this country have done an unbelievable job of keeping law and order, and they're afraid for their jobs, they're afraid of the mistreatment they get, and I'm telling you that not only, me speaking, minorities all over the country, they respect the police of this country and we have to give them more respect. They can't act. They're afraid for losing their pension, their job. They don't know what to do. They want to do their job. And you're going to have abuse and you're going to have problems, and you've got to solve the problems and you have to weed out the problems.
Although he avoided naming the accused in the jogger case, Trump's reference to "roving bands of wild criminals" left no doubt about why he had paid for the ads. Newspaper accounts had described "wolf pack" gangs marauding in the park.
TRUMP: It's a massive crisis. It's a double crisis. I look at these things, I see them on television. And some horrible mistakes are made. But at the same time, we have to give power back to the police because crime is rampant. I believe very strongly that we need police.
Cities need strong police protection. But officers' jobs are being taken away from them. And there's no question about it, there is turmoil in our country on both sides.
Q: Do you understand why African Americans don't trust the police right now?
TRUMP: Well, I can certainly see it when I see what's going on. But at the same time, we have to give power back to the police because we have to have law and order. And you're always going to have mistakes made. And you're always going to have bad apples. But you can't let that stop the fact that police have to regain control of this tremendous crime wave that's hitting the US.
Young male murderers, we are constantly told, are led astray by violent music and violent movies. Fair enough. I believe that people are affected by what they read, see, hear, and experience. Only a fool believes otherwise. So you canít say on one hand that a kid is affected by music and movies and then turn around and say he is absolutely not affected when he turns on the evening news and sees that a criminal has gone to the chair for killing a child. Obviously capital punishment isnít going to deter everyone. But how can it not put the fear of death into many would-be killers?
Soft criminal sentences are based on the proposition that criminals are the victims of society. A lot of people in high places really do believe that criminals are victims. The only victim of a violent crime is the person getting shot, stabbed, or raped. The perpetrator is never a victim. Heís nothing more than a predator.
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