WASHINGTON (AFP) - Donald Trump said on Sunday (June 19) he is open to racial profiling, touching another raw nerve on the issue of race in America.
African-Americans, Latinos, Muslims and other minorities in the United States have complained bitterly for decades about the practice in which police use a person's race, religion, national origin or ethnicity as grounds for suspecting them of committing a crime.
Trump, the free-talking presumptive Republican presidential nominee, came close to endorsing racial profiling outright in an interview aired on Sunday on CBS.
His comments came in a discussion on the Orlando nightclub massacre by shooter Omar Mateen, who is Muslim, and past comments by Trump to the effect that if elected president in November he "respectfully" would place mosques under surveillance.
Trump was asked point-blank if he was talking about increasing profiling of Muslims in America.
"Well, I think profiling is something that we're going to have to start thinking about as a country," Trump told the programme "Face the Nation."
He added: "So we really have to look at profiling. We have to look at it seriously. And other countries do it, and it's not the worst thing to do. I hate the concept of profiling, but we have to use common sense. We're not using common sense."
Trump asserted that Israel practices racial profiling, and that France also places mosques under surveillance.
"They're doing it in France. In fact, in some instances, they're closing down mosques. People don't want to talk about it. People aren't talking about it. But look at what they're doing in France. They're actually closing down mosques," Trump asserted.
Trump has already infuriated many in America by calling for a ban on Muslims entering the country and by saying Mexico sends rapists and drug dealers across the border into the United States.