The president focused on his view that stop and frisk could help reduce violent crime in Chicago. Stop and frisk is a method in which police stop, question and frisk any individual they believe may have committed a crime or who is engaging in suspicious behavior.
He said the policy worked in New York in the late 1990s and early 2000s when it was put into action by former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, who is now one of Mr. Trump’s attorneys.
Mr. Trump said New York went from an “unacceptably” dangerous city to among the safest in the country.
The president told the gathering of thousands of law enforcement officers that he has directed Attorney General Jeff Sessions to address violence in Chicago, saying there’s “no reason for it.”
“It works,” Mr. Trump said of stop-and-frisk techniques. “It’s got to be properly applied, but stop and frisk works. The crime spree is a terrible blight on [Chicago] and we’ll do everything possible to get it done.”
Civil liberties groups have criticized stop and frisk, arguing that is racial profiling. In 2013, a federal judge said the practice was unconstitutional and prejudiced. The practice has been discontinued in many cities.
Police in New York still use the tactic, but are much more circumspect about using it. Last year, the police stopped and frisked 10,861 individuals, the lowest number since 97,296 in 2002, according to the New York Civil Liberties Union. In 2010, nearly 686,000 people were stopped and frisked.
In 2016, the Chicago Police Department signed an agreement with the American Civil Liberties Union, promising to limit “stop and frisk” encounters. Mr. Trump said he’s asked the Justice Department to work with local law enforcement in Chicago to end the ACLU pact, which he called a “terrible deal” that “ties law enforcement’s hands.”
Last month, Mr. Sessions said such agreements, known as consent decrees, are too restrictive on police officers. He blamed the consent decrees for crime increases in large cities such as Chicago, Baltimore and St. Louis.
The number of homicides in Chicago has dropped over the last two years, but remains relatively high compared to other large cities. This year, with almost three months to go, 419 people were murdered in Chicago, according to the Chicago Tribune’s homicide database. There were 551 in 2017 and 558 in 2016.
The number of shooting victims is also on the decline. Through October, 2,346 people were shot in Chicago, 630 fewer than the 2,976 victims for all of 2017, according to The Chicago Tribune’s shooting database. The number of shooting victims peaked in 2016 when 3,348 people were shot in the city.
Law enforcement officials enthusiastically welcomed Mr. Trump. The International Association of Chiefs of Police annual conference is attended by thousands of law enforcement officials from across the country and around the world.
“I like that he supports law enforcement and supports the military,” said Kevin Huddle, 42, a police officer in Santa Barbara, California. “He supports us financially as well as whenever there’s a tragedy — he’s there for us.”
Aaron Jimenez, a police chief in St. Ann, Missouri, said he feels Mr. Trump has supported law enforcement more than past presidents.
“I like his policies and what he’s done for law enforcement,” Mr. Jimenez said.
Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC.