President Donald Trump pledged on Monday to end a “crime spree” in Chicago and called for loosening restrictions on police in the third-largest U.S. city to allow stopping and frisking suspects for weapons and other contraband.
Chicago police agreed in August 2015 to outside monitoring of stop-and-frisk searches after an American Civil Liberties Union report that found officers stopped a disproportionate number of Black people and relied on the practice more heavily than departments in other cities.
Trump’s remarks came three days after a white Chicago police officer was found guilty of murder in the 2014 shooting of a Black teenager, a case that laid bare tensions between the city’s Black community and the police department.
Proponents say stop-and-frisk helps prevent violent crime by taking more illegal guns and other contraband off the streets. Opponents say Black people and members of other minority ethnic groups are unfairly targeted by the stops.
His comments were a reprise of a vow made last year to bring federal help to fight Chicago’s crime.
The Justice Department referred questions about Trump’s comments to the White House, which did not respond to requests for comment.