DJ Envy Clarifies His Stance on Stop-and-Frisk Following Twitter Roast
After the first presidential debate between Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton last night (Sept. 26), opinions on what transpired spilled over into the discussion on Power 105's The Breakfast Club this morning. As hosts DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Charlamagne Tha God proceeded to give their thoughts on Donald Trump's suggestion to bring back stop-and-frisk—a practice by the NYPD that allows police officers to stop and question pedestrians—Envy's opinion caught a lot of people by surprise.
“They got a lot of guns off the streets,” said Envy during the show, which people took as the host agreeing with Trump. “The way that the NYPD was doing it was unconstitutional. They didn’t do it the way that it was supposed to be done, that’s why they pulled it from New York…They said if it was done the right way [the effectiveness] probably would be a lot higher.”
After The Breakfast Club hosts invited listeners to call in and Envy got called out, the DJ continued, “Yeah I believe stop and frisk works in certain areas. Especially areas where crime is high you should absolutely positively check and see who’s on the streets. There shouldn’t be kids and people hanging on the corner 1, 2 in the morning doing what they do. If you from the hood, you know what niggas is doin’ on the corner at 11 and 12.”
Being that stop-and-frisk became so heavily associated with racial profiling and was ruled unconstitutional in 2013, Envy's admission that he wouldn't mind bringing it back immediately sent people on Twitter into a frenzy. People assumed that Envy agreed with the policy flaws and all without listening to what he really had to say.
DJ Envy chopped it up with XXL to explain in depth what he meant.
XXL: What did you mean by the stop-and-frisk comments this morning?
DJ Envy: I think I was pretty clear. At first I didn't really believe in stop-and-frisk. I thought that it was a violation of the rights of people walking around and just being stopped and frisked for no apparent reason. Then after I said that comment a couple of months ago, I was approached by a couple of people who explained to me what stop-and-frisk was and what it meant to people, and why the police and everybody liked stop-and-frisk. The intention was to target areas that have high crime activity—high crime shootings, high crime assaults, high murders. These are small sections of different areas whether it's a small section of Newark or a small section of Brooklyn where there's a lot of crime, a lot of activity and a lot of shootings. Basically, it's a way to get these guns off the streets.
When I did my research because I was interested in it, I seen that when they were doing it, they were pulling close to 800, 900 guns off the street per year. When they stopped doing it, they pulled 200, 300 guns off the street per year. That's 700 guns per year that's just out there. Most of these people out here who are robbers and murderers are not marksmen, they never really hit their intended target. They hit the little girl going to school. They hit the grandmother going to church or they'll hit the wall and shoot somebody that they don't even know.
So, you sit there and you think, Well, how do you get these guns off of the street? Do you think it's going to be kumbaya and everyone is going to show love? In a perfect world, yeah, that would happen but that's not going to happen. Do you think people are going to tell on other people? Nah, that's not going to happen. They tried the buy back gun thing where you bring in your gun. Well most people didn't want to bring their gun because one, it wasn't enough money, and two, because even though they said, "We're not going to ask any questions about this gun"—I think anybody who has a gun that wanted to turn it in would be like, "Nah, they're going to check this gun."
So, in my opinion, as somebody who's been on both sides of the fence—somebody who's been stopped and frisked before, as somebody who's been shot at before for a robbery—you gotta get the guns off the street. Last week, somebody tried to car-jack me and shot three holes in my car while [I was] in it. You know that people are not marksmen. That bullet could have missed the fender, hit the windshield and hit me in my head. I got five kids and I'm out there doing what's right.
I ain't doing nothing illegal. I ain't doing what's against the law. I'm giving back to my community whether it's doing a book bag drive in Newark. I just left Queens from doing a voter registration on the south-side of Queens. I'm in these boroughs. A lot of people talk and they've never been outside. They say "Oh yeah, I'm from in the hood," but they're out of the hood. I'm DJing these clubs and leaving at four, five in the morning. I'm driving expensive cars and wearing expensive jewelry. People say, "Why would you do that?" But when I was a kid I seen LL Cool J. I would see Nas. I seen Hov. They gave me a feeling of, Damn, they made it. I would see N.O.R.E. If they could make it, I could make it as well. It gave me that sense of encouragement. It gave me that inspiration to keep pushing on.
My whole thing is if I can inspire a kid to be like, "Envy came from Queen's Village, Murdock and Springfield. That nigga moved out, got his own. He's driving a Ferrari, he got a Rolls Royce and he did it the right way?" Hopefully I can encourage somebody. But, back to stop-and-frisk. Do I think that the way they did stop-and-frisk was wrong by targeting everybody? Absolutely. Do I think that it's a thing that can help a lot of people by pulling guns off the street? Absolutely. But, people are mad at that and they said that I'm a coon but it's my opinion. If they can't respect my opinion then fuck it.
Basically what you were trying to say was that people are so quick to rule out stop-and-frisk when there are benefits to it?
Yeah, that's exactly what I'm saying. I'm not saying that the way police did it before was right. It wasn't, but the fact of them going into these high crime areas and seeing people hanging on the street corner and being able to check them. "Well, I can hang on the street corner anytime I want." Yea,h you right but when I was a kid at 7 o'clock, my mother was like you're not hanging on the street corner because there's only a couple of things that happen on the street corner. People are selling drugs or you're going to be up to no good.
So, if you're on the street corner and if you're up to no good, you never know. I'm not saying target Black people period. Anywhere there's a high crime rate—whether it's White, whether it's Black, whether it's Spanish or Asian—wherever there's a high crime rate, I think it's positive. I think it's a good thing to make sure you get those guns off the street because a lot of those people talking shit, never got robbed. They've never been in a situation where they had a gun pointed at them. They talking from far away.
The other people talking are also the ones with the guns trying to hide.
Yeah, a cop could pull me over right now to stop-and-frisk me. The most he's going to find on me is some money. That's it. Envy got $200 on him. I'm not up to no good. I got five kids, what do I got? But it's kind of like a gift and a curse. I can't carry a gun to protect myself because you're not allowed to have a weapon in New York and New Jersey. A guy who doesn't give a fuck can carry a gun and shoot me or rob me. I can't defend myself. My only way of defense is to hire security.
But I'm the type of person—I'm not going to go out and take security to a Yankees game with my kids. I want to go by myself and have a good time. My only defense is to hire security or try to get these guns off the street as much as possible. You're talking about 700 guns per year that's on the street that are not being pulled off. They could be shooting a little girl right now. They could be shooting an old lady. With the stop-and-frisk another thing that they said was if somebody that was a criminal was walking out the house and they know that cops can search them at any moment, they're going to think twice about putting that gun in their pocket.
Just to clear it up for Black Twitter, you believe how stop-and-frisk was done before was racial profiling right?
Yeah, absolutely, but I don't think it's a bad situation if it's fixed the right way and that's what I said. But you know people hear what they want. If it's fixed the right way and they target certain areas and they better the situation that they were trying before—because I don't think they were trying to offend people and fuck up their constitutional rights. I think they were trying to get guns off of the street. People are getting killed and how else are we going to get these guns off the street?
Basically the bottom line is something needs to be done and the way it is now isn't cutting it. Even in hip-hop, we see people die every day.
Losing one of my own which hurts me the most. I'm from where they're from. They've seen what I did to get out of it. That hurts me the most. I just want the guns off the street. I want my kids to be able to go to school, go to a party if they want to go to a party and be able to drive their car and not have to worry about getting shot.
Not even my kids—my son plays football in Newark. I'm in Newark all the time taking my son to practice. I don't want any of those kids out there on the football field to get hit by a stray bullet. That's something that you think more and more when you have kids and you're around kids all the time. Five, 10 years ago, it wasn't the same thing but now I'm out there and I see kids dying. I'm reporting on it. All these stories of kids dying all the time over a gun when they weren't the intended target. That's fucked up. We gotta do something.
Twitter Goes in on DJ Envy for Supporting Stop-and-Frisk