ABC News has published an article titled “Donald Trump Calls for Nationwide Stop-and-Frisk Policy, Then Rolls It Back.” The article states that when asked on Wednesday about stopping violence, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump stated “I would do stop-and-frisk. I think you have to. We did it in New York, it worked incredibly well, and you have to be proactive.”
The controversial policing strategy known as “stop and frisk” involves stopping people in public and searching them for illegal weapons and other banned materials. The practice gained national attention when it was used in New York City during the 1990s, before being declared unconstitutional in 2013. The current mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, has condemned the practice.
The article also points out that “On Thursday morning . . . (Trump) sought to amend his position, saying he never meant to suggest that stop and frisk should be implemented nationally. ‘Now Chicago is out of control. I was referring to Chicago with stop and frisk,’ Trump said.” The article points out that if Trump were to become president, he would be unable to put the policy into place by himself and would instead have to defer to local government and law enforcement.
The article is available here.
Questions for discussion:
Opponents of “stop-and-frisk” policing point to the protections against “unreasonable search and seizure” provided by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. Does the use of this policing tactic threaten an individual’s rights? Give an example to support your answer.
If the president calls for the use of “stop and frisk” in certain places, should the elected leaders in those places honor this request? Explain why or why not.
The call to use these policing strategies carries significant political risk for the Trump campaign. What is the risk? Do you think this is an effective strategy for Trump? Explain why you feel this way.
Do you think this issue will be, or should be, discussed by the main presidential candidates at their debate next week? What are some of the other issues you think will be raised?