NYT: Trump’s ‘tough on crime’ budget proposal would give police the tools to target blacks and Latinos more aggressively
- by admin
In his speech at the NAACP’s annual convention on Monday, President Donald Trump proposed a sweeping new strategy for curbing crime.
“We are not going to stop until we get tough on crime, we are not even going to start from where we started,” Trump said.
“We will make a huge difference, but the question is will it be enough?
I will tell you, I think the question will be how will we make it?
We will have to do something.”
He continued: “And what that will mean is that police will have more powers, they will have the resources, and we will not have to put them in a box, but we will have a very tough on crimes policy.”
Trump has repeatedly argued that crime is down in the United States and his administration has already started to take steps to address that.
The new budget proposal unveiled Monday will seek to expand the use of “civil asset forfeiture,” or civil asset forfeiture, in federal law enforcement agencies.
The money collected by police would then be used to pay for crime reduction programs and to fund police training.
The proposal also would establish a national registry of private gun sales and firearm transfers.
The proposal was met with some criticism, however.
“[C]ountless examples of law enforcement misusing the proceeds of crime to pay off officers is a fact of life,” John Lott, a law professor at the University of Minnesota, told the Washington Post.
One of the main problems with civil asset-forfeiture laws is that they allow for police to collect property in exchange for an arrest and conviction, Lott said.
“The real problem is that it creates a loophole that allows law enforcement to collect from people they have arrested without ever having to go to jail,” he said.
But some police departments have expressed concern that the proposal will lead to racial profiling.
In April, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration, arguing that the plan “could create a chilling effect on communities of color, as police officers and other government employees would be required to conduct stops of people of color in violation of the Fourth Amendment.”
“This is a recipe for racial profiling,” ACLU of Michigan Director of Policy Jennifer Granholm told the Detroit Free Press.
“It could mean you can’t have a peaceful meeting in the community.
You can’t be walking in the neighborhood and people think, ‘Oh, I’m not doing anything wrong,'” she added.”
It creates an atmosphere in which officers can’t exercise their First Amendment rights to be able to engage in public conversation.”
Another critic of the plan said that while the money collected from forfeiture proceeds would help local police departments “expand their budgets, the money will not be enough to hire additional police officers, expand their SWAT teams, and build new police stations.”
Civil asset forfeiture law allows police to seize cash and property from people suspected of a crime, which can be used for forfeiture of the property.
It can also be used as a tool to get people to testify against themselves.
In recent years, civil asset forfeitures have come under scrutiny after the killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014.
Trump, who has frequently expressed support for the use and abuse of police force, has made police officers a focus of his agenda.
In August, he said that the United Nations must have an ambassador for police.
During a rally in Cleveland in August, Trump called for the U.S. to have “the most armed police force in the world.”
According to the National Review, the Trump budget proposal calls for $1.9 billion to be used over the next five years to increase the number of police officers in the country, hire more police, increase their training, and fund new programs to prevent crime and to target minorities.
Critics of the proposal, however, say that while Trump may have a goal to bolster the federal police force with more officers, the administration has not taken a comprehensive approach to this issue.
Earlier this year, Trump ordered the Department of Homeland Security to hire 300 new officers, but in August it was revealed that DHS had already rejected requests for new officers from communities of colour.
Trump also plans to give $500 million in grants to states to reduce violent crime.
The administration has also announced that it is sending $5 million to the University at Buffalo in New York City for a “zero tolerance” approach to student violence, while $50 million will go to schools to help students with mental health needs.
According of the New York Times, the $500,000 is intended to increase police presence in schools, while the $50,000 will be used “to provide grants to school districts for a variety of services that will increase safety and reduce violence on campuses.”
A recent report from the Brennan Center for Justice
In his speech at the NAACP’s annual convention on Monday, President Donald Trump proposed a sweeping new strategy for curbing…