GOP Presidential nominee Donald Trump suggested yesterday that the discredited police practice of stop-and-frisk is the answer to the gun violence plaguing too many of Chicago's neighborhoods. He is wrong.
To begin, the Chicago police have used stop-and-frisk for many years, without any benefit to the residents of the City. Rather than reducing criminal activity, stop-and-frisk exacerbated the breach in trust between the police and the community in Chicago. This is best exhibited by the fact that during the summer of 2014, Chicago police stopped more than 250,000 people (mostly young men of color) who were not guilty of anything except being out in public, often in the neighborhoods where they were born and raised. This overuse of the stop-and-frisk caused mistrust between the community and the police. And, this breakdown of trust fuels the spate of gun violence that the City has experienced this year and the low rate of arrests for those acts of violence. In short, the policing system is broken and harassing young men of color won't fix it.
Rather than these tired, failed tactics, Chicago needs a policing strategy built on community trust. The police and neighborhood groups must work together to find solutions to problems. That is what we need in Chicago, not more stop-and-frisk.