Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor and adviser to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, falsely suggested that presidential debate moderator Lester Holt said that “stop and frisk is unconstitutional” nationally. In fact, Holt correctly noted that “Stop-and-frisk was ruled unconstitutional in New York, because it largely singled out black and Hispanic young men” and was “a form of racial profiling.” While Giuliani and right-wing media have been quick to defend stop-and-frisk policing, in 2013 a federal judge found it “violated the constitutional rights of minorities” as practiced in New York City, writing that it allowed police officers to stop “blacks and Hispanics who would not have been stopped if they were white.” From the September 27 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): What did [Lester Holt] do that you didn't like?
RUDY GIULIANI: Well, the first thing he said was stop and frisk is unconstitutional. Well it happens to be not unconstitutional. Terry v. the United States is the law of the land by the Supreme Court of the United States. It has never been reversed. And we do stop and frisk in New York and all over America.
STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): It was struck down by one judge here in New York.
GIULIANI: Not as unconstitutional. As unconstitutional as applied. In other words, it was being done incorrectly, accordingly to the judge.
BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): And then it was being appealed and this mayor decided not to appeal it.
GIULIANI: Not only wasn't it being appealed, the Court of Appeals of the Second Circuit had excoriated her, basically said she was wrong, entered an injunction against the enforcement of order and removed her from the case. Everything Donald said. And Holt went ahead and contradicted him, ignorantly.
EARHARDT: Donald Trump last night said, “It works, stop and frisk works.” And you said -- was it The New York Times this morning had an article about how it does work?
DOOCY: I think it had to do with whether or not the murder rate had gone up or down. And apparently the murder rate in New York --
EARHARDT: Had gone down dramatically after stop and frisk.
GIULIANI: Of course it did. It went down 65 percent. But the thing that's wrong is Lester Holt said straight out, “Stop and frisk is unconstitutional.” Lester Holt is not a lawyer. He's wrong. It was decided in 1959 by Earl Warren. It is still the law of the land. Every cop does stop and frisk in every part of America and she said the same thing. And I'll give her an excuse because she failed the bar exam. But I'm not going to allow him to play lawyer and contradict our candidate. And I'd like to know when did a moderator become a fact-checker?
What I am offended by is Lester Holt interfering twice in the debate, saying that stop and frisk is not constitutional. Dead wrong. Hillary Clinton said the same thing. Dead wrong. [Terry v. United States], go read it. Written in 1958.
DOOCY: So you are fact-checking Lester Holt?
GIULIANI: No, I'm a lawyer. I'm not a moderator who misrepresents on television. I'm a lawyer.
DOOCY: You're really angry about this.
GIULIANI: Am I angry about it? I thought after Candy Crowley we saw the last of it. What Holt did last night, if journalism has ethics, if it has ethics, he violated the rules of ethics. Now if you're going to interrupt and you're going to correct me in front of 100 million people, you better be right. He is dead wrong. First of all, a district judge cannot overrule the United States Supreme Court. Number two, she found it unconstitutional as applied, not unconstitutional. Hillary Clinton, as a former law student, should know the difference. Third, Donald Trump's description of what happened, including the judge being removed from the case, was totally correct.
I'm here to say that what Lester Holt did is completely unprofessional and totally unethical.