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U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Milwaukee, criticized president-elect Donald Trump for his position on stop-and-frisk. U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Milwaukee, criticized president-elect Donald Trump for his position on stop-and-frisk.

U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Milwaukee, criticized president-elect Donald Trump for his position on stop-and-frisk.

Tom Kertscher
By Tom Kertscher December 9, 2016

U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore says Donald Trump 'thinks stop-and-frisk is fine'

In a post-election interview that focused on incarceration and policing, U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore was asked about Republican President-elect Donald Trump.

And she made a claim about him and the controversial police practice called "stop-and-frisk" -- the practice of a police officer stopping and questioning a person, then patting the person down for weapons.

Here was part of the exchange the Huffington Post had with the Milwaukee Democrat, according to an article posted Nov. 18, 2016:

Question: Policing plays a huge role in our mass incarceration problem. Do you think policing could change at all under Trump?  

Moore: He’s shared a lot of stuff with us. He thinks stop-and-frisk is fine! (Former New York Mayor) Rudy Giuliani thinks it’s fine. And I don’t know where they’ll land in his administration. According to him, a lot of things he said and did were just Hollywood and bluster and now he’s going to be presidential.

If stop-and-frisk was just part of the dog whistle he knew he needed to put out there to get all of the angry white men to come out of the rural areas to vote for him ― we don’t (know) if that was just something he said to get elected. So a lot of us are trying to be hopeful.

So, where does Trump stand on stop-and-frisk?

Trump statements

As the campaign with Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, entered its final weeks, Trump made headlines with comments about stop-and-frisk.

On Sept. 21, 2016, at a Fox News-televised town hall at a church in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, Trump called for wider use of stop-and-frisk to combat violent crime. An audience member had asked Trump how he would stop crime in the black community. Trump responded that stop-and-frisk would be one of the things he would do, adding:

I think you have to [do it]. We did it in New York, it worked incredibly well and you have to be proactive ….In New York City, it was so incredible the way it worked.

Five days later, at the first presidential debate, moderator Lester Holt asked Trump what he would do to heal racial divides. Trump said:

We have to bring back law and order. Now, whether or not in a place like Chicago you do stop and frisk, which worked very well, Mayor Giuliani is here, worked very well in New York. It brought the crime rate way down. But you take the gun away from criminals that shouldn’t be having it ….

Moments later, Holt said: "The argument is that it’s a form of racial profiling" and Trump replied:

No, the argument is that we have to take the guns away from these people that have them and they are bad people that shouldn’t have them. These are felons. These are people that are bad people that shouldn’t be — when you have 3,000 shootings in Chicago from January 1st, when you have 4,000 people killed in Chicago by guns, from the beginning of the presidency of Barack Obama, his hometown, you have to have stop-and-frisk.

And later in the debate, Trump’s praise was more effusive when he said:

Featured Fact-check

In New York City, stop-and-frisk, we had 2,200 murders, and stop-and-frisk brought it down to 500 murders …. Stop-and-frisk had a tremendous impact on the safety of New York City. Tremendous beyond belief. So when you say it has no impact, it really did. It had a very, very big impact.

Two parentheticals on Trump in the debate:

  • He claimed stop-and-frisk was not ruled unconstitutional in New York. PolitiFact National rated the statement Mostly False.

  • On his claim that stop-and-frisk "brought the crime way down" in New York City, the Washington Post Fact Checker observed: "Crime is affected by many factors, and New York’s decline in crime mirrored the decline in many other major cities at the time. Moreover, crime was declining for four years before Giuliani took office, and it continued to decline for 14 years after he left."

It’s also worth noting that Trump’s support for stop-and-frisk goes back to at least 2013, when he said on Twitter:

Stop and frisk works. Instead of criticizing @NY_POLICE Chief Ray Kelly, New Yorkers should be thanking him for keeping NY safe.


If Stop & Frisk is struck down by the pandering NYC politicians, increases in crime & eventual terrorist attacks will be on them.

We didn’t get a response when we asked Trump’s campaign about Moore’s claim.

But we couldn’t find any statements indicating Trump has changed his position.

Our rating

Moore said Trump "thinks stop-and-frisk is fine."

During the 2016 presidential campaign, less than two months before the election, Trump made a series of statements praising stop-and-frisk, repeating his claim that it reduces crime and saying the controversial police tactic should be used more broadly around the country.

We rate Moore’s statement True.

Our Sources

Huffington Post, "A Conversation With The Woman Representing A ZIP Code Where Most Black Men Have Been To Prison," Nov. 18, 2016

PolitiFact National, "Donald Trump and Lester Holt clash over whether stop-and-frisk is constitutional in New York," Sept. 28, 2016

Medium, "PolitiFact’s annotated transcript of the first presidential debate," Sept. 26, 2016

Politico, "Trump calls for nationwide 'stop-and-frisk' policy," Sept. 21, 2016

Fox News, video clip of Donald Trump town hall, Sept. 21, 2016

New York Times, "Donald Trump Embraces Wider Use of Stop-and-Frisk by Police," Sept. 21, 2016

Twitter, Donald Trump tweet, July 3, 2013

Twitter, Donald Trump tweet, Aug. 22, 2013

Email, Rep. Gwen Moore communications director Eric Harris, Dec. 6, 2016

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Tom Kertscher

U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore says Donald Trump 'thinks stop-and-frisk is fine'

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