Donald Trump calls for nationwide 'stop-and-frisk' policy, then rolls it back

CLEVELAND (ABC NEWS) -- As Donald Trump appeared to try and court African-American voters in Cleveland Wednesday at a town hall taped by Fox News to air Thursday evening, he seemed to express support for establishing the policing policy of stop and frisk on a national level.

When asked by an audience member how he would stop violence in the black community, Trump responded, "I would do stop and frisk. I think you have to. We did it in New York, it worked incredibly well and you have to be proactive and, you know, you really help people sort of change their mind automatically.”

He added, “New York City was incredible, the way that worked, so I think that could be one step you could do."

The policy, which allows police officers to stop a pedestrian regardless of whether they believe a crime has been committed, has been extremely controversial within communities of color and has been the subject of several legal challenges on the basis of profiling and discrimination. The policy gained prominence in the 1990s under Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is now a close confidant of Trump's.

Trump has expressed his support for the policy in the past, praising Giuliani for its success in New York. He has, as of late, also been an ardent supporter of profiling in regards to immigration, believing it to be a helpful tactic in stopping terror.

In addition to his praise for stop and frisk, Trump has also drawn the ire of some African-Americans in painting a grim portrait of black poverty.

On Tuesday night, Trump said, “Our African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape that they’ve ever been in before, ever, ever, ever,” seeming to not take into account slavery, institutional segregation, or the violence that occurred in the 1960s as black Americans fought for voting rights.

On Thursday morning, however, in an interview on "Fox & Friends," Trump sought to amend his position, saying he never meant to suggest that stop and frisk would be implemented nationally.

"Now Chicago is out of control. I was referring to Chicago with stop and frisk," Trump said.

His initial answer came in response to a question that did not mention Chicago by name, though Trump did cite the city in a previous answer as a place that is "out of control."

Of course, as president, Trump would not be able to unilaterally implement the policy in a single city; he would have to defer to local officials and law enforcement.

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