Fact-Check: Stop-and-Frisk Has Nothing to Do with Police-Community Relations

stop-and-frisk AP

During Tuesday’s vice-presidential debate, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine claimed that stop-and-frisk “polarizes the relationship between police and communities.”

Fact check: FALSE.

The stop-and-frisk policy dates back to a 1968 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that allowed police to stop and frisk in individual based on a reasonable suspicion that he or she is armed and dangerous and may be involved in a crime. The policy has been constitutional for nearly four decades. During that time, and especially during the last two decades (until the last two years), relationships between police and communities have improved. 

After Bill de Blasio became mayor of New York in 2014, that city dropped stop-and-frisk. That coincided with a precipitous decline in the relationship between police and communities. If stop-and-frisk were the cause of the friction, ending that policy would have resulted in better and more harmonious relationships. Stop-and-frisk has nothing to do with the present controversy.

.