Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to retired and active law enforcement personnel at a Fraternal Order of Police lodge during a campaign stop in Statesville, N.C. on Aug. 18, 2016.
Photo by Gerald Herbert/AP

Donald Trump’s stop-and-frisk policy raises eyebrows

At a Fox News event this week, Donald Trump seemed to endorse taking “stop-and-frisk” policies to a national level to address urban crime. “I would do stop-and-frisk,” the Republican said. “I think you have to. We did it in New York, it worked incredibly well and you have to be proactive and, you know, you really help people sort of change their mind automatically.”

Of course, what Trump doesn’t seem to understand is that stop-and-frisk didn’t work “incredibly well” at all, and when challenged in the courts, the policy was ruled unconstitutional.

When Trump recently told African-American communities, “What do you have to lose?” he neglected to mention the answer: Fourth Amendment rights.

Nearly as important, however, is how the Republican candidate tried to clean up his latest mess, calling into Fox News yesterday to elaborate on his preferred approach.
“[Police officers are] proactive, and if they see a person possibly with a gun or they think they have a gun, they will see the person and they’ll look and they’ll take the gun away. They’ll stop, they’ll frisk and they’ll take the gun away, and they won’t have anything to shoot with.”
I have a strong hunch Trump doesn’t appreciate how interesting his comments are.

Trump, who’s never demonstrated any real understanding of criminal-justice policy, apparently likes the idea of police being able to stop-and-frisk Americans – including those who’ve done nothing wrong and have been accused of no crimes – effectively at the discretion of individual officers. If the police find a gun, under Trump’s vision, it will be taken away.

In other words, the NRA’s favorite presidential candidate – the Republican who’s benefiting from millions of dollars in NRA campaign money and claims to be a great champion of the Second Amendment – is on board with a policy in which government officials approach random American pedestrians and confiscate their firearms without due process.

And, taking this just a little further, open-carry laws would probably be inconsistent with Trump’s policy, too.

If recent history is any guide, the GOP candidate will soon pretend he never said what he said, and that this is all a big misunderstanding orchestrated by Hillary Clinton, major news organizations, and other assorted foes. But the fact remains that Trump’s quote is surprisingly straightforward: “They’ll stop, they’ll frisk and they’ll take the gun away.”

Over to you, NRA communications department.

Donald Trump and Gun Policy

Donald Trump's stop-and-frisk policy raises eyebrows