Trump Is Wrong About Crime and Drug Abuse (VIDEO)

At a town hall-style meeting at a church in Cleveland Heights, Ohio on September 21, 2016, Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump urged that police bring back the stop-and-frisk tactic.

“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 and, you know, you really help people sort of change their mind automatically, you understand, you have to have, in my opinion, I see what’s going on here, I see what’s going on in Chicago, I think stop-and-frisk. In New York City it was so incredible, the way it worked. Now, we had a very good mayor, but New York City was incredible, the way that worked, so I think that could be one step you could do.”

Unfortunately, Trump’s declaration undermines all the outreach that he has made toward the black community throughout his campaign, and more specifically proves the point that his speech about civil rights, given at Great Faith Ministries, a predominantly black church in Detroit, Michigan, was utter bullshit, as police have disproportionately stopped and frisked black people – AND DELIBERATELY SO — yet found no contraband whatsoever. Donald Trump also ignores the fact that this is the very reason why a federal judge ruled in a class-action lawsuit that stopping and frisking pedestrians too often led to violations of people’s rights under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which declares:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

While giving a speech at a campaign event in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on September 22, 2016, Donald Trump once again noted a 17 percent increase in crime in the 50 largest U.S. cities, having previously quoted this statistic upon accepting his nomination for President at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio on July 21, 2016. However, though an article published in The Washington Post on January 27, 2016 shows a 17 percent increase in homicides in 2015 compared to the previous year, the article also notes that despite an increase in killings in Nashville, Houston and Sacramento, cities like Memphis, San Antonio and Fresno saw a decrease in homicides, and that a close look at the data yields no explanation for the cause of the increase in homicides overall.

Upon examination of the source material and Donald Trump’s interpretation thereof, it appears that he is cherry-picking the information for the specific purpose of demagogic fearmongering.

Donald Trump also blamed drug abuse among non-whites for the recent violent incidents in the U.S., particularly the recent riots in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“We will appoint the best prosecutors, investigators and federal law enforcement officers in the country to dismantle the international cartels, gangs and criminal syndicates and I will stop the drugs from flowing into our country and poisoning our youth and many other people. And if you’re not aware, drugs are a very, very big factor in what you’re watching on television at night.”

Granted, the riots in Charlotte erupted from protests over the police in Tulsa, Oklahoma fatally shooting an unarmed black man named Terence Crutcher, who was purported to be high on PCP during the incident. One 911 caller described his behavior as erratic and paranoid shortly before officers responded. Police also recovered the substance from his car after he was gunned down and Crutcher was noted by his father to have had an ongoing problem with the drug. Nonetheless, there was no reason for him to have been shot. Instead, he perhaps should have put in a setting, preferably a detox unit, where he would have been unable to harm himself or others. Unfortunately, as Joe Scarborough noted, a white person could be stopped with pounds of cocaine and would not need fear being killed. What makes Scarborough’s scenario plausible is the fact that although white people use illegal drugs at a far greater rate than blacks, blacks made up 45 percent of the 225,242 people serving time in state prisons for drug offenses in 2011, whereas white people accounted for 30 percent.

On the contrary, when New York, New Jersey and California opted to reduce their prison population by going easier on nonviolent drug offenders, particularly in the form of scaling back sentences and offering treatment as an alternative to incarceration, each state saw a decrease in crime. Suffice it to say, Donald Trump is incorrect in believing that drugs were the key factor in Terence Crutcher’s death and the violence surrounding the protests happening in the aftermath. The real problem is the racially motivated way in which drug laws are enforced, and Trump’s idea for a greater quantity and quality of law enforcement will only compound the problem.

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