Fox Lines Up Behind Trump's Stop-And-Frisk Proposal, Despite Overwhelming Evidence That It Doesn't Work

››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS

Fox News praised Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s call for police departments across the country to engage in a stop-and-frisk policing policy based off of the unconstitutional New York City program. However, the policy is ineffective, unconstitutional and has increased “animosity between minority communities and law enforcement.”

Donald Trump Endorses New York City-Style Stop-And-Frisk Policing Across The Country

Trump Calls For Broad Use Of Stop-And-Frisk Policing. During a pre-taped town hall with Fox News on September 21, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump “called for the broad use of the contentious stop-and-frisk policing strategy in America’s cities,” according to The New York Times. The Times notes that Trump has “long championed stop-and-frisk” when it was practiced in New York City and this week “recommended that it be deployed in cities across the country that are struggling to control violence.” From the September 21 New York Times report:

Donald J. Trump on Wednesday called for the broad use of the contentious stop-and-frisk policing strategy in America’s cities, embracing an aggressive tactic whose legality has been challenged and whose enforcement has been abandoned in New York.

His support for the polarizing crime-fighting policy — which involves officers’ questioning and searching pedestrians — collides with his highly visible courtship of African-Americans, who have been disproportionately singled out by the tactic, data show.

For Mr. Trump, the timing was especially inauspicious: It came as police shootings of black people were once again drawing scrutiny and protest.

Mr. Trump has long championed stop-and-frisk as a crime-fighting tool in his hometown, New York, but on Wednesday he recommended that it be deployed in cities across the country that are struggling to control violence. [The New York Times, 9/21/16]

Fox Lines Up Behind Trump’s Stop-And-Frisk Proposal

Rudy Giuliani: Stop-And-Frisk Policing “Saves Lives.” Fox News regular, Trump adviser, and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani defended the candidate’s nationwide stop-and-frisk proposal, claiming that the practice brought down New York City’s “war zone murders and shootings” by 85 percent. Giuliani asserted that the policy, which Giuliani has taken credit for creating, should be allowed in “communities where there is a tremendous amount of crime, because it saves lives.” From the September 22 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends:

STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): Rudy, when you were mayor, stop and frisk used extensively here --

RUDY GIULIANI: I started it.

DOOCY: You started here in New York City --

GIULIANI: With Bill Bratton.

DOOCY: Yesterday, Donald Trump was asked about it at the black church in Cleveland, he was asked, "what do you think about -- what would stop black-on-black crime in Chicago?" And he said stop and frisk.

[...]

Well, they stopped it here in New York because there were complaints that it was racist.

GIULIANI: I started it for the same reason that Donald Trump is talking about. I started it in 1994. We had had years of 2,200 murders, 7 murders a day. Numbers, we're talking about war zone murders and shootings. And during my tenure, I brought murder down 65 percent, and Michael Bloomberg brought it down another -- ultimately, between the two of us, 85 percent. And I used stop, question, and frisk not as much as Mike [Bloomberg] and Ray Kelly did. I used it about 80, 90, 100 times a year. They had gone to 4 or 500. And here's what it is, it's stop, question, and frisk. Totally justified by the United States Supreme Court Decision called Terry v. The United States. And it says, if a police officer has reasonable suspicion to think you're committing a crime, not probable cause, probable cause they can arrest you. Reasonable suspicion is a lesser standard. In other words, if he suspects but doesn't have real reason.

DOOCY: Got a feeling.

GIULIANI: Right. His instincts as a police officer that tell him that this is bulging out a little too much. He can come over and stop you. He can frisk you to protect himself, and he can question you. If he ends up with a gun or drugs, which, when I was mayor, basically our success rate was somewhere between 40 and 50 percent, he can arrest you. The community --

PETE HEGSETH (CO-HOST): Why's it so effective?

GIULIANI: Because it takes the gun right out of your hand. It's actually the answer to the whole debate over gun control. New York and Chicago have gun control. Why does Chicago have, per capita three and a half times -- three and a half times -- the murders than New York? They already have more murders in Chicago this year than we're going to have all of this year.

DOOCY: Well nobody's taking the guns away.

GIULIANI: Exactly. But because bad guys don't go register. I used to say about the mafia, Fat Tony Salerno doesn't go get a gun permit. Neither does the hood on the street go get a permit. You know why? There's probably a warrant for his arrest and he's going to go to jail. So he doesn't get a permit. The gun control laws are on the books, but they're not worth anything because they affect -- are they worth something for legitimate people? Yes, in terms of safety and everything else. But they're not worth anything where the criminal is concerned. You got to get the gun away from him. You got to take away. And I think that's why Donald said -- maybe for people are upset with stop, question, and frisk, they should at least allow it for communities where there is a tremendous amount of crime, because it saves lives. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 9/22/16]

Fox’s Ainsley Earhardt: “Many People Did Think [Stop And Frisk] Was Successful.” Fox & Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt claimed "many people" thought the New York stop-and- frisk program was “successful.” From the September 22 edition of Fox News, Fox & Friends:

JOHN ROBERTS: Donald Trump said yesterday on Hannity that he would support a nationwide stop and frisk program to try to reduce crime. It’s very controversial in urban areas. Some Democratic black leaders have been speaking out against it. So, we'll see how that plays out today. Ainsley, Steve, Pete.

[...]

AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): That program was here in New York and many people did think it was successful.

DOOCY: Stop and frisk? Absolutely. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 9/22/16]

Fox’s Geraldo Rivera: “We Have To Consider Donald Trump’s Suggestion Of A National Stop And Frisk.” Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera praised the stop-and-frisk policy for ending a “contagion of violence in New York City,” and said “we have to consider” Trump’s proposal. From the September 21 edition of Fox News’ Hannity:

GERALDO RIVERA: You can't ignore that Chicago's just announced they are hiring over a thousand new cops. That's a good thing. I think that we have to consider Donald Trump's suggestion of a national stop and frisk. Stop and frisk helped end the awful contagion of violence in New York City. Maybe they need that in Chicago. [Fox News, Hannity, 9/21/16]

Fox’s Sean Hannity: “Lives Were Saved” By Stop And Frisk In New York City. Fox contributor Newt Gingrich claimed that stop and frisk brought down the New York City murder rate by 85 percent, and bemoaned that “liberals who would rather see people killed than have” that policy. Fox host Sean Hannity added that "lives were saved" because of the policy. From the September 21 edition of Fox News’ Hannity:

NEWT GINGRICH: Well look, I mean, here’s the tragic secret of what's gone wrong with inner city African-American life. And for that matter, inner city Latino life in this country. And that is the people who supposedly cared the most about them, the liberal politicians who got elected, many of them from their own ethnic background, are basically owned by institutions that don't work. So you go into a place like Detroit where 9 percent of students are learning, you go into Baltimore where 13 percent of the eighth graders are able to actually pass a math test. And the 9 percent, by the way, is a reference to literacy I think in third grade. But you go around place after place, if you tried to actually go in there and create real improvement, you run head-on into the teacher's union which is against you. If you go in and try to create the kind of policing that Rudy Giuliani and the [Former New York City Police Commissioner] Bratton used, which brought down the murder rate by 85 percent, you run into liberals who would rather see people killed than have the kind of aggressive policing --

SEAN HANNITY (HOST): You're talking about stop and frisk --

[...]

But the murder rate went in New York City and I lived here as it happened from about 2500 a year to below 500 a year. And a lot of the people whose lives were saved because of policing in neighborhoods that needed it the most, were minority Americans. And you're right, there was a lot of criticism. Rudy took a lot of heat, was called racist day-in and day-out by local newspapers and the liberal media. But lives were saved. [Fox News, Hannity, 9/21/16]

Fox Has Long Advocated For New York City’s Stop-And-Frisk Policy

Bill O'Reilly: By Abandoning Stop And Frisk, Bill De Blasio Is Allowing Criminals To "Roam Around With ... Guns." Fox‘s Bill O'Reilly blamed New York City's crime increase on Mayor Bill de Blasio's decision to abandon stop-and-frisk policies. On the May 12, 2015 edition of Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor, O'Reilly characterized the mayor's actions as public endangerment, saying de Blasio was allowing criminals to "roam around with the guns." Guest Lis Wiehl added that "the rollback of stop and frisk means there are more criminals out there carrying guns." [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 5/12/15]

Fox’s Kimberly Guilfoyle: New York's Increase In Rapes Can Be Tied "In Part To Stopping Stop And Frisk." The Five co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle linked an increase in rapes in New York City during the first months of 2015 to "stopping stop and frisk." From the June 9, 2015, edition of Fox News' The Five:

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE (CO-HOST): The problem is, there are real issues right now on the streets of New York that I think can also tie in, in part, to stopping stop and frisk. [Fox News, The Five, 6/9/15]

Fox's Andrea Tantaros: The Drop In Stop-And-Frisk Tactics "Has Reportedly Emboldened Criminals." Former Fox host Andrea Tantaros cited the decrease of New York's stop-and-frisk policy as the reason for an uptick in violent crime, claiming it had "reportedly emboldened criminals." Tantaros praised the policy, saying it “turned the city around from years of progressive failures” and helped decrease black-on-black crime. From the June 5, 2015, edition of Fox News' Outnumbered:

ANDREA TANTAROS (CO-HOST): Well, a dramatic drop in stop and frisk encounters in New York City has reportedly emboldened criminals and had a chilling effect on the way police are doing their jobs.

[...]

When you look at the stats on stop and frisk, stop and frisk was put into place, New York City, it helped clean up the city. The proactive policing policies of Rudy Giuliani turned the city around from years of progressive failures. And really it benefits the black-on-black crime. It really helped get rid of that the most. [Fox News, Outnumbered, 6/5/15]

Fox’s Geraldo Rivera: Stop And Frisk "Has Been The Most Effective Tool To Keeping Guns Off The Street." Fox correspondent Geraldo Rivera endorsed stop and frisk, saying the practice was “One of the great tools the cops have used to reduce” crime in New York City. Rivera also called the policy "the most effective tool to keeping guns off the street." From the June 3, 2015, edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

GERALDO RIVERA: I lived through the bad old days where there were over 2,200 murders every year. 2,200 murders every year, now we're down to 300. One of the great tools the cops have used to reduce this carnage, which, after all, is mostly involving victims who are black or brown, minority kids are the ones whose lives have been saved. From 2,200 to 300 a year and the tactic of stop, question and frisk, which is constitutional, based on reasonable suspicion, has been the most effective tool to keeping guns off the streets.

[...]

Remember that of the, the difference between 2,200 and 300, so now you have 1800, 1900 lives every year, saved, times the twenty, that's like 30,000 minority lives in New York City alone have been saved by stop and frisk. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 6/3/15]

New York City’s Stop-And-Frisk Policy Is Ineffective, Discriminatory, And Unconstitutional

Federal Judge Ruled Stop And Frisk “Violated the Constitutional Rights Of Minorities” In New York City. In August, 2013, federal Judge Shira A. Scheindlin found New York City’s stop-and-frisk policy to be unconstitutional, writing that it allowed police officers to stop “blacks and Hispanics who would not have been stopped if they were white.” The judge noted that police became “too quick to deem” behavior suspicious, which effectively watered down the legal standard for “a stop.” From an August 12, 2013, New York Times article:

A federal judge ruled on Monday that the stop-and-frisk tactics of the New York Police Department violated the constitutional rights of minorities in the city, repudiating a major element in the Bloomberg administration’s crime-fighting legacy.

The use of police stops has been widely cited by city officials as a linchpin of New York’s success story in seeing murders and major crimes fall to historic lows. The police say the practice has saved the lives of thousands of young black and Hispanic men by removing thousands of guns from the streets.

But the judge, Shira A. Scheindlin, found that the Police Department resorted to a “policy of indirect racial profiling” as it increased the number of stops in minority communities. That has led to officers’ routinely stopping “blacks and Hispanics who would not have been stopped if they were white.”

[...]

The judge found that for much of the last decade, patrol officers had stopped innocent people without any objective reason to suspect them of wrongdoing.

[...]

The judge found that the New York police were too quick to deem suspicious behavior that was perfectly innocent, in effect watering down the legal standard required for a stop.

“Blacks are likely targeted for stops based on a lesser degree of objectively founded suspicion than whites,” she wrote.

She noted that officers routinely stopped people partly on the basis of “furtive movements,” a category that officers have testified might encompass any of the following: being fidgety, changing directions, walking in a certain way, grabbing at a pocket or looking over one’s shoulder. [The New York Times, 8/12/13]

NYCLU Report: Stop And Frisk “Yielded Few Weapons” And “Contributed To Animosity Between Minority Communities And Law Enforcement.” A Washington Post report on a 2014 report from the New York Civil Liberties Union found that stop and frisk “yielded few weapons when officials justified the policy as a way to reduce shootings and "recover guns." The Post explained that “as the NYPD ramped up the number of stops, shootings and murders in the city did not appear to correspondingly decline,” adding that the policy was “so divisive in New York and … contributed to animosity between minority communities and law enforcement.” From an August 21, 2014, Washington Post article:

In 2002, when Michael Bloomberg first took office as mayor of New York City, the controversial law enforcement policy known as "stop-and-frisk" led to 97,296 encounters on the city's street. Police stopped — and sometimes frisked — pedestrians on any number of suspicious grounds: Their movements seemed "furtive," as if they were casing a victim, acting as a lookout, or selling drugs. They seemed to be carrying a suspicious object, or sporting a suspicious bulge.

Over the years, the tactic would become more prevalent — and common far beyond New York — as the public outcry over its use rose. By 2011, the New York Police Department that many cities tried to copy conducted 685,724 stops, the peak before a bitter legal tussle and a new mayoral race would begin to scale back the practice:

[...]

The NYCLU report documents the racial imbalance that has made the policy so divisive in New York and other cities where the practice has contributed to animosity between minority communities and law enforcement. But the ACLU accounting also points to other data that undermine the rationale for stop-and-frisk: It yielded few weapons when officials justified the policy as a way to reduce shootings and recover guns; in more than 5 million stops, police recovered a gun less than 0.02 percent of the time. And as the NYPD ramped up the number of stops, shootings and murders in the city did not appear to correspondingly decline. [The Washington Post, 8/21/14]

Wash. Post: No Evidence Stop And Frisk Reduced Crime. The Washington Post's Fact Checker blog found no evidence to support a claim by Gov. Mike Huckabee that "shootings are up 20 percent in New York City" because of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's reversal of "some of the policies of previous mayors," notably stop and frisk -- a New York City Police Department practice ruled unconstitutional in 2013. Kessler pointed to a study by the New York Civil Liberties Union showing that New York City's "decline in shootings and murders did not correspond with increase in stops." Kessler also pointed out that crime continued to fall in 2013 and 2014 as the policy was slowed down, and in fact 2013 was "a historically low year" for shootings:

By the time de Blasio took office, the program already was on its way out. After the number of stops peaked at nearly 700,000 in 2011, it began declining. In 2013, there were fewer than 200,000 stops. In 2014, there were just under 46,000, according to NYPD data.

Supporters of the program warned that violent crime would go up without stop-and-frisk. But violent crime was down across the city in 2014, the New York Times found.

[...]

The number of violent crimes in New York City has decreased from 2000 to 2014. The number of shooting victims are down nearly 20 percent since five years ago, and 77 percent since 22 years ago, according to NYPD.

Whether stop-and-frisk effectively reduced murder and violent crime is debatable. A 2014 New York Civil Liberties Union report showed that the decline in shootings and murders did not correspond with increase in stops. [The Washington Post, 7/1/15]

NY Times' Charles Blow: Stop And Frisk “Is Obviously Race-Based.” New York Times columnist and CNN political commentator Charles Blow highlighted how the stop-and-frisk policy was used as a race-based “intimidation tool” and said it was “obviously unconstitutional.” From the September 21 edition of CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360:

CHARLES BLOW: To advocate for something that is obviously race-based. That is, that is obviously unconstitutional. That a judge has called -- I've been on this topic for a very long time. The judge who made that rule unconstitutional quoted one of my columns in the closing line of her decision. There is no way to get around the idea that this is not targeting African Americans for hostility. Nine out of ten of the people who were stopped never charged with anything. They said that it was meant to stop people who may have weapons, that is not the way it was used at all. It was used as an intimidation tool, directed specifically at these particular people. And I believe that it -- it functioned as a kind of ethnic cleansing mechanism in cities. New York City at the height of stop-and-frisk which is 2010. The first time in New York City's history -- since the reconstruction, that the population of blacks in New York City fell. And there was other issues at play. An economic strain. And also social and political strain and there was also a tremendous amount of pressure being put on those populations by the police in this country. [CNN, Anderson Cooper 360, 9/21/16]

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