Donald Trump praises 'stop-and-frisk' police tactic

CLEVELAND, Sept 21 (Reuters) - U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said on Wednesday he would consider using "stop-and-frisk" policing methods to cut crime if elected, according to two people who attended a Fox News "town hall" taping at a predominantly African-American church in Cleveland.

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With the race tightening between Trump and Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton in the final weeks before the Nov. 8 election, the Republican candidate recently began wooing African-American voters.

Stop-and-frisk, however, has been the target of protests and successful legal challenges in New York and other big American cities in recent years as a tactic that unfairly singles out minority citizens and violates their civil rights.

55 PHOTOS
Donald Trump through the years
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Donald Trump through the years

Donald Trump with Alfred Eisenpreis, New York City Economic Development Administrator. Sketch of new 1,400 room Renovation project of Commodore Hotel.

(Photo by NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

Donald Trump pauses in his apartment 5/20 after receiving the news that the Board of Estimate unanimously approved a 40-year tax abatement plan. Under the plan Trump will purchase and refurbish the Commodore Hotel, which closed into doors 5/18, from the Penn Central Transportation Corp. In return for his $10-million-dollar purchase and up to $100 million face-lifting investment, Trump will have no real estate taxes for 40 years.

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Real estate developer Donald Trump announces intentions to build a $100 million dollar Regency Hotel.

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Donald Trump stands behind architect's model of City Hall Plaza.

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Donald Trump and Ivana Trump attend Roy Cohn's birthday party in February 1980 in New York City.

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Donna Mills and Donald Trump during 1983 Annual American Image Awards at Sheraton Center in New York City, New York, United States.

(Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)

Donald Trump attends 38th Annual Horatio Alger Awards Dinner on May 10, 1985 at the Waldorf Hotel in New York City.

(Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)

Portrait of real estate mogul Donald John Trump (b.1946), smiling slightly and facing to his right, 1983. New York.

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Boxing promoter Don King holds up the arms of Mike Tyson and former champion Larry Holmes during a press conference here 12/1. Looking on is Donald Trump. The fight will be held at the Trump Plaza Hotel.

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Donald Trump, real estate mogul, entrepreneur, and billionare poses in the foyer of his home in August 1987 in Greenwich, Connecticut.

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Donald Trump Jr. and Donald Trump during 1988 U.S. Open - September 3, 1988 at Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens, New York, United States.

(Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)

Ivana Trump and Donald Trump during Mike Tyson vs Michael Spinks Fight at Trump Plaza - June 27, 1988 at Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States.

(Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)

Billionaire Donald Trump and his wife Ivana arrive 04 December 1989 at a social engagement in New York.

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Donald Trump and Daughter Ivanka Trump during Maybelline Presents 1991 Look of the Year at Plaza Hotel in New York City, New York, United States.

(Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)

Donald Trump attends 'Hoop-La' Special Olympics Basketball Game on June 25, 1992 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.

(Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)

Donald Trump and Joan Rivers during Opening of The Rose Room in the Plaza Hotel at Plaza Hotel Rose Room in New York City, New York, United States.

(Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)

Donald Trump touches 07 April 1993 Marla Maples stomach to confirm published reports that the actress is pregnant with his child. The two arrived for Maples appearance in the Broadway musical 'The Will Rogers Follies'.

(HAI DO/AFP/Getty Images)

US business tycoon Donald Trump enters the PLaza Hotel in New York past supporters 21 December 1994. Hundreds of supporters showed up at a news conference where Trump denied a New York newspaper report that the Sultan of Brunei had bid 300 million USD to buy the Manhattan hotel.

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Donald Trump and Christine Whitman during Opening of New Warner Bros. Store in Trump Plaza Casino at Trump Plaza Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States.

(Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)

Donald Trump attends Marc Jacobs Fashion Show on April 4, 1995 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.

(Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)

Boxing: IBC Heavyweight Title: View of celebrity businessman Donald Trump and actor Steven Seagal seated ringside during Lennox Lewis vs Tommy Morrison fight at Boardwalk Convention Hall. Atlantic City, NJ. (Photo by John Iacono /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images) 

New York real estate giant Donald Trump poses in his Trump Tower office on a giant letter 'T' on May 8, 1996.

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Portrait of Marla Maples and her husband, businessman Donald Trump, with their daughter Tiffany, as they pose together at the Mar-a-Lago estate, Palm Beach, Florida, 1996.

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Donald Trump and Ron Delsner backstage at a KISS concert at Madison Squre Garden in New York City on July 25, 1996.

(Photo by Ebet Roberts/Redferns)

Donald Trump attending Halloween party thrown by Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss at the Supper Club to kick off Fashion Week.  

(Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News via Getty Images)

Donald Trump open his new building at 1 Center Park West- The new Trump International Hotel and Tower.

(Photo byJames Hughes/NY Daily News via Getty Images)

Donald Trump and his girlfriend Celina Midelfar watch Conchita Martinez and Amanda Coetzer 07 September at US Open in Flushing Meadows, NY.

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Celine Dion, husband Rene, Donald Trump & Ivanka Trump

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Entrepreneur Donald Trump and Rev. Al Sharpton speak at a ribbon cutting ceremony for Sharpton's National Action Network Convention April 5, 2002 in New York City. The group aims to further the development of civil rights.

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Donald Trump and his girlfriend Melania Knauss attend the Marc Bouwer/Peta Fall/Winter 2002 Collection show February 14, 2002 during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City.

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Donald Trump at Madison Square Garden

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Donald Trump stands on the sidelines before the start of the AFC divisional playoffs between the New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans on January 10, 2004 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Temperatures have reached as low as 7 degrees in the Foxboro area.

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Donald Trump, Visionary Business Leader award honoree, poses with his children Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka at Fashion Group International's 22nd Annual 'Night Of Stars' at Cipriani's 42nd Street October 27, 2005 in New York City.

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Eric Trump and Donald Trump attend the Chicago Bulls vs New Jersey Nets game at the IZOD Center on October 31, 2007 in East Rutherford, New York.

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 Donald Trump delivers a speech with his son Barron after he was honored with the 2,327th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, CA, 16 January 2007.

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Portrait of former model Melania Trump and her husband, businessman Donald Trump, as they sit together at a table during the 16th annual 'Lady in Red' gala, hosted by LIFE (Leaders In Furthering Education), at the Mar-a-Lago club, Palm Beach, Florida, December 4, 2009.

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Donald Trump sands with Miss Universe 2009 Stefania Fernandez of Venezuela prior to the Miss Universe 2010 Pageant Final at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas on August 23, 2010. Miss Universe is an annual international beauty pageant and along with the Miss World is the most publicized beauty contest in the world. California clothing company Pacific Mills founded the contest 1952 and was acquired by Donald Trump in 1996.

(MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

US tycoon Donald Trump arrives to speak at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, outside Washington, on February 27, 2015.

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Donald Trump speaks during the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum at the 2015 NRA Annual Meeting & Exhibits on April 10, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee. The annual NRA meeting and exhibit runs through Sunday.

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Real estate mogul and billionaire Donald Trump attends Golf legend Jack Nicklaus' Congressional Gold Medal ceremony in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda March 24, 2015 in Washington, DC. Trump announed on March 18 that he has launched a presidential exploratory committee.

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Businessman Donald Trump speaks to guests gathered for the Republican Party of Iowa's Lincoln Dinner at the Iowa Events Center on May 16, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa. The event sponsored by the Republican Party of Iowa gave several Republican presidential hopefuls an opportunity to strengthen their support among Iowa Republicans ahead of the 2016 Iowa caucus.

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Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump visits his Scottish golf course Turnberry with his children Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump on July 30, 2015 in Ayr, Scotland. Donald Trump answered questions from the media at a press conference.

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U.S. President-elect Donald Trump speaks at his election night rally in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 9, 2016.

(REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)

Singer Kanye West and President-elect Donald Trump speak with the press after their meetings at Trump Tower December 13, 2016 in New York.

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Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump poses for a photo after an interview with Reuters in his office in Trump Tower, in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., May 17, 2016.

(REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

 Coverage of the 2016 Republican National Convention from the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, which airs on all ABC News programs and platforms. On this final night of the convention, Donald Trump accepts the party's nomination for President of the United States.

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U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump reacts to an answer his wife Melania gives during an interview on NBC's "Today" show in New York, April 21, 2016.

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President-elect Donald Trump speaks to reporters following his meeting with Jack Ma, Chairman of Alibaba Group, meeting at Trump Tower, January 9, 2017 in New York City. President-elect Donald Trump and his transition team are in the process of filling cabinet and other high level positions for the new administration.

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U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands after Trump's address at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem May 23, 2017. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. President Donald Trump has coffee during a reception ceremony in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 20, 2017.Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence (L) and U.S. President Donald Trump appear on stage at a rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, U.S. April 29, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. President Donald Trump holds up a U.S. Air Force Academy football jersey that was presented to him by team captain Weston Steelhammer during the presentation of the Commander-in-Chief trophy in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., May 2, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. President Donald Trump delivers the keynote address at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum's "Days of Remembrance" ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, U.S, April 25, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. President Donald Trump, U.S. first lady Melania Trump, their son Barron and the Easter Bunny arrive for the 139th annual White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 17, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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In the tactic, officers stop pedestrians, question them and then search them for weapons or contraband.

At the town hall, Trump praised stop-and-frisk, according to an excerpt of the interview released by Fox News.

He made his statement in response to an audience member's question about what the New York businessman would do to reduce crime in predominantly black communities across the nation, said the two people, Geoff Betts and Connie Tucker.

Betts, 38, who is black, said he felt dismayed by Trump's response.

Tucker, who is white and supports Trump, said she sensed discomfort in the room when the candidate gave his answer.

"I felt like there was a pause," she said.

The town hall, moderated by Fox News anchor Sean Hannity, taping was closed to journalists. Betts and Tucker both described their experiences after it ended.

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment about his statement, nor did Clinton's.

Trump has portrayed himself as the "law-and-order candidate." But Clinton has criticized many of his proposals as unconstitutional attacks on American freedoms.

According to Tucker, Trump said he liked stop-and-frisk because it had worked well during the administration of New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a Republican who served from 1996 to Dec. 31, 2001 who is now a major Trump supporter. The tactic was supported by Giuliani's successor, Michael Bloomberg.

In appealing to African-American voters, Trump has lamented the woes of black communities in speeches and invited people who traditionally vote for Democratic candidates to take a chance on him. But his often-dire portrayals of life for African-Americans have fallen flat with some black voters.

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Anger over police tactics has escalated since the stop-and-frisk controversies, as the deaths of African-Americans, many of them unarmed, at the hands of police have sparked unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, Baltimore and other cities.

The opposition to "stop-and-frisk" led police departments in New York, as well as Chicago and Newark, New Jersey to agree to cut back on its use, in some cases submitting to outside monitoring and improving police training. In New York, ending the practice was a key plank of Democrat Bill de Blasio's successful 2013 run for mayor.

Tucker, a pastor at Father Heart Ministries in Columbus, Ohio, said she liked policies that yielded results, so if stop-and-frisk helped reduce crime, she was for it.

Betts, a distributor of hair products, said he is registered to vote as an independent and that he attended the town hall because he was curious about what Trump would say to try to win over black voters. He said he thinks police unfairly discriminate against black citizens and he is against stop-and-frisk.

"We are victims," he said, adding he walked out of the town hall while it was still under way.

"I just couldn't take it anymore, I had to go," he said. "I don't think that Donald Trump gets it."

8 PHOTOS
Notable people who have spoken out against Donald Trump
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Notable people who have spoken out against Donald Trump

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

The Mayor did not hold back in this tweet:

"I didn’t realize this was in question. Behaves like a racist, speaks like a racist…of course @RealDonaldTrump is a racist."

 REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Martha Stewart

In an interview win CNNMoney Stewart said "There is so much to know and so much to learn and so much diplomacy and kindness and introspection that goes with that kind of job, and it does not exist in the world of Donald Trump."

REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian 

John Oliver

The host of the Last week Tonight dedicated 20 minutes of his show to completely annihilate everything Trump stands for.

Click here to watch the Segment.

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

J.K. Rowling

The beloved author took to twitter and compared him to the worst of the worst, "How horrible. Voldemort was nowhere near as bad."

(Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images)

Robert De Niro

At the  22nd Sarajevo Film Festival Robert De Niro made his opinion very clear on what he thinks of Trump. "It's crazy that people like Donald Trump . . . he shouldn't even be where he is, so God help us"

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Mark Ruffalo

 Ruffalo and many more stars have signed a petition entitled #UnitedagainstHate to stand against Donald Trump

REUTERS/Benoit Tessier 

America Ferrera

America Ferrera wrote an open letter on the HuffingtonPost to Donald Trump thanking him for his portrayal of Latin immigrants. In her letter she states "You, Mr. Trump, are living in an outdated fantasy of a bigoted America. Last week, America celebrated some amazing milestones — marriage equality, universal healthcare, removing of the confederate flag — making it clear in which direction the country is moving. That is why racist remarks that play to extremists won’t change the tide, no matter how hard you try. They will only serve to rally more Latino voters to the polls. Your negativity and your poorly thought out speech ignited a fire in our community. Thank you, Mr. Trump!"

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

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