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NYPD Challenges Trump On Stop And Frisk

After years of defending the department's practice of "stop and frisk," defying judges who ordered a stop to the practice, and arguing that it made New York City a safer place, NYPD officials are now decrying the practice to fact check Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Stop and frisk is a controversial policing practice in which officers stop pedestrians on the street and frisk them for weapons, drugs and other contraband.

The NYPD came under fire for its widespread use of the tactic starting in the 1990s under the leadership of police Commissioner William J. Bratton, who was appointed by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Stop and frisk reached a peak in 2011, when officers stopped some 685,724, according to the ACLU.

During the presidential debate on Sept. 26, Trump advocated for the controversial practice, prompting NYPD Assistant Commissioner J. Peter Donald to tweet in response. Trump had said crime increased after the NYPD stopped urging its officers to engage in stop and frisk tactics.

"Stop question & frisk has decreased nearly 97% in NYC since '11," Donald tweeted, according to The Hill. "Crime, murder, & shootings have decreased significantly during same period."

In 2011, there were 106,669 recorded cases of the seven "major felonies" in New York City -- a category that includes murder, rape, robbery, felony assault, burglary and grand larceny. There were 105,453 recorded cases of the same crimes in 2015.

While crimes like murder and robbery decreased over that period, assaults increased and the number of rapes remained virtually unchanged.

When it comes to violations -- such as tickets for marijuana possession, which were a major result of stop and frisk -- the numbers are actually up since 2011, according to the city's own statistics.

There were 58,798 tickets issued for violations in 2011, and 64,334 issued in 2015, statistics show.

Sources: The Hill, New York Civil Liberties Union, NYPD / Photo credit: Krokodyl/Wikimedia Commons

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