Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says he would increase the use of the "stop and frisk" anti-crime strategy in black communities, a type of policing that was hugely controversial when it was implemented in New York City by Trump backer and former mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

Trump touted his vision in a taped town hall session on Fox in Columbus Heights, Ohio, on 21 September. When an audience member asked him what he would do to fight crime in black communities, Trump responded: "One of the things I'd do, is I would do stop and frisk. I think you have to. We did it in New York, it worked incredibly well and you have to be proactive. In New York City it was so incredible the way it worked."

New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio said in response to the candidate's comments that Trump is "either ignorant of the history of the city or he's lying about it," the New York Daily News reported. "He's a pampered billionaire. He has no connection to the people he's talking about. He has no experience in the black community or any other inner city community."

Trump pushed the aggressive plan just as the country was erupting again over police shootings of black men. In a meeting in Ohio with black pastors earlier, Trump said he was "troubled" by the shooting of a black man by a white officer in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Terrence Crutcher had his hands in the air when he was fatally shot in a scene captured on video.

'Stop and frisk' allows police to stop and search any pedestrian at will. Much of the program was scrapped after successful legal challenges, and was eventually abandoned in New York. The policy was particularly hated by blacks in New York who were disproportionately targeted by police, according to data.

Statistics showed that police stopped black citizens 52% of the time, Hispanics 31%, and whites 10%, even though blacks make up only 23% of the city population, Hispanics 29%, and whites 33%.

A federal judge in New York struck down the tactic as unconstitutional in 2013, saying the way the city used it violated the rights of minorities.

Experts are split on whether the program works to stem crimes, the Washington Post reports. Studies found that in New York, 90% of people stopped and frisked hadn't done anything wrong.