Lamenting a “lack of spirit” between whites and blacks, Donald Trump encouraged racial unity on Thursday even as he called for one of the nation’s largest cities to adopt “stop and frisk” policing tactics that have been widely condemned as racial profiling by minority leaders, reports the Associated Press. The Republican presidential candidate, eager to blunt criticism that his campaign inspires racism, confronted racial tensions after police-involved shootings of black men in Oklahoma and North Carolina. Trump, as he has for much of his unorthodox presidential bid, offered a decidedly mixed message as he confronted the delicate issue.
He falsely suggested violence in Chicago is worse than that of Afghanistan, and endorsed a policing method that a federal judge said New York City had used unconstitutionally because of its overwhelming impact on minority residents. “I think Chicago needs stop and frisk,” Trump said. “When you have 3,000 people shot and so many people dying, I mean it’s worse than some of the places we’re hearing about like Afghanistan, you know, the war-torn nations.” The comments come as both presidential candidates court minority voters with Election Day less than seven weeks away.