WASHINGTON — Evan McMullin said Donald Trump’s stop-and-frisk strategy is a “cocktail of racism” that reinforces his belief that Donald Trump’s America will be a police state.
“It's a cocktail of racism and a violation of civil rights," said McMullin, a former CIA officer from Utah running on a platform of stopping Trump. “He’s communicating to people that their civil liberties do not apply in certain situations in which they have not even done anything to raise any credible suspicion of law enforcement. Your race should not be a factor for deciding whether you should be suspected of a crime. Period.”
On Thursday, Trump suggested stop-and-frisk strategy — the policy employed by New York City police and later ruled unconstitutional by a district judge before being appealed — would help establish law and order in more cities.
"Stop-and-frisk worked,” said Trump. "They're proactive, and if they see a person possibly with a gun or they think they have a gun, they will see the person and they'll look and they'll take the gun away. They'll stop, they'll frisk and they'll take the gun away, and they won't have anything to shoot with."
Later, he said he was asked specifically about Chicago, where he’d establish "strong law and order.” The policy was a staple of the NYPD, stop and question people they suspected to have a weapon or drugs. The practice focused mostly on black and Latino New Yorkers.
At the same time, in an interview with the Guardian, an Ohio county chair for the Trump campaign said there was no racism before Obama, that Black Lives Matter movement is "a stupid waste of time" and if you are black and not successful “it’s your own fault. “You’ve had the same schools everybody else went to," the woman said. "You had benefits to go to college that white kids didn’t have. You had all the advantages and didn’t take advantage of it. It’s not our fault, certainly.”
Miller’s comments, McMullin said, are part of a pattern of statements that reflect some Trump supporters harbor prejudice. He said Trump’s supporters need to reject some of the rhetoric coming from the candidate, as well. “These are just flat out racist statements.”
He also called out the Republican Party for not being more critical of Trump in light of the tone of his campaign.
“The Republican Party fancies itself [as the party of Lincoln], but where is the party of Lincoln today? I don’t see it.”
McMullin, who said he’s been in situations in which he’s had to decide whether to use lethal force, said he watched the video of a police officer shoot and kill a black man in Tulsa five times.
“I don’t understand why lethal force was needed at that moment,” he said. "What I saw there says to me that what happened deserves a lot of scrutiny, to put it mildly."
He said he supports “common sense” policies that require officers to exhaust nonlethal means before the application of lethal force, touting their ability to keep officers safe.
“In general, we need to be better about de-escalation, frankly on both sides. But when you’re the law enforcement officer you’re the leader and you’ve got to take charge in the situation and lead the de-escalation.”
Darren Sands is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Darren Sands at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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