Stop and frisk is racist and ineffective, much like those that continue to spout it as crucial to ending the “hell” that is poor, inner-city communities. The Republican nominee’s fervent support of this policy is typical of the candidate’s appeal to endorsers rather than to voters.
For those who are unaware, stop and frisk policy is a police practice wherein officers are encouraged to stop suspicious looking individuals they encounter on the street. The Southern District Court of New York deemed it unconstitutional in 2013.
Proponents of the practice have pointed to the drop in New York City’s rate of violent crime during its implementation. Research has long concluded that it was ineffective. 90 percent of citizens stopped were innocent and those that weren’t were often charged with small crimes, like marijuana possession. Guns were only recovered in about 0.2 percent of these stops.
The problem with the practice, besides the obvious disregard for the 4th Amendment, which protects citizens against unreasonable search and seizure, is its blatant racial bias.
Practicing such a protocol encourages racial profiling and criminalization of black and brown bodies. The New York Civil Liberties Union reports that in addition to being overwhelmingly innocent, about 90 percent of the city residents stopped were black or Hispanic. Crime in the United States is largely a class issue and black people are not innately more criminal or violent than other races.
Such a presumption has long, racist roots. Perhaps in trying to appeal to his new endorsers in the Fraternal Order of the Police, the Republican nominee insisted that a tough stance on law and order were critical to healing broken and destitute black communities. His rhetoric echoes of white saviorism in that he implies that his policy can save black communities from the criminals among them.
While the nominee’s language is often ethnocentric and xenophobic, his rhetoric regarding stop and frisk begs the question of whether he truly believes his own messages.