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Trump Is Right About 'Stop and Frisk'

Former NY Mayor Rudolph Giuliani has this op-ed with the above title in the WSJ.

One of the strategies that helped bring about an 85% reduction in crime in New York City between 1994 and 2013 was the careful and appropriate use of "stop and frisk." This practice dramatically reduced the number of guns, knives and other dangerous weapons, as well as illicit drugs, in the city.

But according to candidate Hillary Clinton and moderator Lester Holt during Monday night's presidential debate, stop and frisk is "unconstitutional." They are wrong. In Mrs. Clinton's case, it's the usual misrepresenting she does when she does not know what she is talking about. As for Mr. Holt, if a moderator is going to interfere, he should do some homework and not pretend to know the law when he does not. Mr. Holt and NBC cannot overrule the U.S. Supreme Court.
See my previous post on this subject for the citation and an excerpt of the case.  Continuing with Mr. Giuliani's piece:
In the case discussed during Monday's debate, federal Judge Shira Scheindlin found in 2013 that the way Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Commissioner Ray Kelly applied stop and frisk was unconstitutional. The practice had been expanded to 600,000, the vast majority being of African-Americans. Previously, during my administration, for eight years under Commissioners William Bratton, Howard Safir and Bernard Kerik, the stops and frisks always fell short of 100,000.

During my administration, the U.S. Justice Department spent two years examining stop and frisk and it filed no case. After continued use of the practice during the administration of Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly, Judge Scheindlin found that the volume of stops and the focus on the African-American community made the practice not unconstitutional in general but unconstitutional as applied. This is the distinction that is so important--yet was misunderstood by Mr. Holt and misrepresented by Mrs. Clinton.

During the debate, Donald Trump described the history of the case correctly. He said that after the judge decided the case, the city appealed and asked for a stay of the lower court's decision. The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in a scathing opinion, criticized Judge Scheindlin for improperly steering the case to her courtroom. It issued an unusual stay to allow the Bloomberg-Kelly form of stop and frisk to go forward until the court could decide the appeal. And in a rare action, it removed Judge Scheindlin from the case.
See this post of October 31, 2013 for more on the USCA2 action.

Then a not-so-funny thing happened in the Big Apple.  For many years the people of that city had exercised good or at least decent judgment in electing mayors, but a few days after the USCA2 decision they took a turn to the hard left.  The city, under its new leader, caved and asked the Court of Appeals to remand for settlement a case they would very likely have won if they had fought on.

It is seriously misleading to simply say that the stop-and-frisk policy in New York under Mayor Bloomberg "was held unconstitutional" without noting the remarkable history that makes Judge Scheindlin's ruling very doubtful.  I would give it Three Pinocchios on the WaPo scale:  "it could include statements which are technically correct ... but are so taken out of context as to be very misleading."  To cite that decision for the proposition that stop-and-frisk is unconstitutional across the board is a Four Pinocchio whopper.

Continuing with Mr. Giuliani:

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals decision underscores Mr. Trump's position that stop and frisk is constitutional and plays a critical role in saving lives. The Court of Appeals issues a stay or injunction only if there is a likelihood of success on the merits for the appeal and the lower-court ruling will create irreparable damage. The likelihood of success means the court believes there's a good chance that the judge's ruling of unconstitutional as applied was going to be reversed. And irreparable damage means that the court came to the same conclusion as Mr. Trump, that stop and frisk plays a critical role in reducing crime.

Donald Trump was right. Hillary Clinton was wrong. Lester Holt should apologize for interfering and trying so hard to help Mrs. Clinton support her incorrect statement that stop and frisk is unconstitutional.

I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for that apology.


Holt asked Trump the wrong question. He should have asked him for his definition of "stop and frisk." I suspect that his definition would have nothing to do with the concept of "reasonable suspicion," and everything to do with stopping persons based on his conception of "profiling" people based on perceived race or ethnicity.

He should have also asked Clinton to define the concept. I am not sure if she would have known (as Guiliani points out) that NYPD was simply "applying" an otherwise constitutional practice in an unconstitutional manner.

Give Holt a break. He had a limited amount of time and a lot of ground to cover. His hands off approach exposed the temperment and character of both candidates. And when it comes to being the POTUS, level-headed temperment and honest, humane, character are at the top of my list.

paul, you are being a shill.

(1) Trump isn't a lawyer, and my sense is that he relies on Giuliani for the assessment that "stop and frisk" is constitutional. And this is totally acceptable. Trump probably fundamentally gets that aggressive policing keeps a lid on violence and that one of the tools for aggressive policing is "stop and frisk" and that he's in favor of that because he is in favor of aggressive policing. Ascribing the racial profiling to him--huh, because he noted that the Israelis profile and that he agrees? Let's have a modicum of fairness here--or do you secretly want political speech to be criminalized, race-norming of school discipline and various other appalling practices that will be rubber-stamped by Hillary judges and Justices?

(2) Why give Holt a break? He's 180 degrees wrong.

No, he is not being a shill. He is expressing his opinion, which is what the comments section is for.

The comment, in my view, is tinged with a good deal of unfairness. He doesn't like Trump--I get it, neither do I. But the defense of Holt based on unproven allegations that Trump is cool with racial profiling? That seems very unfair--and given that paul can make detailed arguments about Miranda, I suspect he knows better.

federalist, why are you so often eager to call people names ("you are being a shill") and to question motives/thinking ("He doesn't like Trump) rather than just give your opinions in a respectful manner?

Is your hope to bully away folks who look at the world differently than you do? Do you think name calling increases the respect or even the understanding that others will have for your opinions? Just curious as to what you think you really achieve with all the impolite name-calling.

You want to cast a vote for an honest person with a realistic chance of winning? I would like to also and am open to suggestions.

federalist, Trump is cool with racial profiling. He made that clear in past statements on The O'Reilly Factor, Fox & Friends, and The Sean Hannity Show to name a few. Google "trump" and "racial profiling." You will find numerous reliable sources supporting my belief that Trump supports this uunconstitutional practice.

As for being a shill in connection with the presidential election. I made it clear in prior comments on this blog that I will not vote for DJT or HRC. There were other candidates in the GOP primary who would have been acceptable to me, including Kasich.

In any even, as Kent has stated (thanks, Kent), I am not a shill for anyone or anything. I am simply giving my objective analysis of a distressing situation facing all Americans.

And since we are both in California, who can we vote for for U.S. Senate?

Where did I put that bottle of industrial strength ibuprofen?

California is a lost cause. But the weather is great.

Whenever one party controls all three branches of government that's not good for democracy.

Yes, more legislation might get passed. But laws enacted without buy-in by a large plurality of citizens are doomed, i.e., Obamacare.

Senate? I am still trying to wade my way through the myriad of ballot measures.

"I am still trying to wade my way through the myriad of ballot measures."

No on 57.
No on 62.
Yes on 66.

But you knew that.

When in doubt on non-criminal matters, checking the SEIU position and voting the opposite is a quick and reasonably accurate strategy.

How about your voting plans, Kent, on Prop. 64 to legalize recreational marijuana in California? I have a feeling SEIU is voting for it, but I have not checked.

(Also, I was trying to apologize to Tarls in the other thread you closed down, and I was not able to get the post up in time. I will also apologize to you for putting so much personal bickering/clutter into the comments here (but, sadly, most of the folks here save federalist do not come to my cyber-space).)

I honestly haven't looked at it yet. I have expressed before my personal belief (not CJLF position) that Big Weed marketing is the great danger, not legalization as such. Marijuana is already de facto legal in California, and in my opinion de jure legalization is inevitable and a matter of how and not whether. Evaluating the "how" of this initiative requires, pardon the pun, getting into the weeds, and I haven't done it yet.

I do appreciate our "loyal opposition" commenters, you included, for livening up the blog. A bunch of people agreeing with each other is boring.


Your outrage seems to be selective and overblown. The precise boundaries of when ethnicity and race may be taken into account when allocating police resources is very difficult I don't argue that Trump is a deep thinker on these issues, but the naked racial profiling charge appears overblown and without much basis.

No one doubts that Hillary's DOE/DOJ would be ok with race-norming of school discipline, an appalling practice. And we know that Hillary judges and Justices would ratify the practice. I loathe Trump. But Hillary (and a bunch of other Dems) are far worse, and far worse on the specific issue being discussed.

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