Donald Trump often asks black voters what they “have to lose” by voting for him.
The answer, it turns out, is civil liberties.
NBC News reporter Alexandra Jaffe has gotten a look at a transcript of Trump’s town hall event that’s due to air tonight on Fox News, and she notices that Trump thinks one way to stop crime would be to deploy a nationwide “stop-and-frisk” program like the one New York City implemented in the 1990s.
“I would do stop-and-frisk, I think you have to,” Trump will say during the event, which was pre-taped earlier on Wednesday. “We did it in New York, it worked incredibly well, and you have to be proactive.”
In reality, stop-and-frisk policies have been a civil liberties nightmare, as police have been found to repeatedly use it as an excuse to harass people who have done nothing wrong.
In 2012, for instance, an audio recording revealed and NYPD officers stop-and-frisked a young black man and threatened to arrest him for “being a fucking mutt.” In 2013, two officers in Philadelphia were caught on camera stopping and frisking two men whose only “crime” was saying hello to people in the neighborhood.
“You don’t say ‘Hi’ to strangers,” one of the officers said.
That same year, two NYPD officers testified in court that their supervisors implemented a strict quota system that mandated targeting black males between the ages of 14 and 21. In fact, a judge subsequently ruled the NYPD’s implementation of the program unconstitutional.
At any rate, these kinds of programs have proven to be very controversial and often resented by people who get stopped by police officers despite having done nothing wrong. That Trump thinks they should be implemented on a nationwide basis will likely set off alarm bells among civil liberties activists.