Police Commissioner Ray Kelly rips stop-&-frisk ruling in TV blitz
By S.A. MILLER
August 19, 2013
WASHINGTON — Police Commissioner Ray Kelly yesterday took to national TV to give a roaring defense of the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy, saying a court ruling blocking it threatened to keep police from “saving lives.”“What we’re doing — and what we’re trying to do — is save lives,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.” “Things are going right here in New York. And this decision certainly has the potential of overturning it.
The top cop hit three talk shows yesterday to defend stop-and-frisk after a federal judge last week declared the tactic unconstitutional.
The city is appealing Manhattan Judge Shira Scheindlin’s ruling that denounced the policy as “racial profiling” in poor black and Hispanic neighborhoods.
But Kelly credited the practice with helping slash violent crime.“The losers in this, if this case is allowed to stand, are people who live in minority communities,” he said on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” noting 97 percent of city shooting victims are black or Hispanic.Still, critics say it unfairly targets blacks and Hispanics whose only crime is living in a poor area.
The mother of Trayvon Martin, the black Florida teen shot dead by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman, said her son was a victim of such profiling.“You can’t give people the authority, whether civilian or police officers, the right to just stop somebody because of the color of their skin,” the mom, Sybrina Fulton, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Kelly insisted that ending the tactic would result in more shootings and murder in the city. “No question about it, violent crime will go up,” he said on “Meet the Press.”
“We have record-low numbers of murders in New York City, record-low numbers of shootings. We’re doing something right to save lives,” he said.
Kelly called for the city’s next mayor to continue stop-and-frisk.
“We need some balance here,” he said. “The stark reality is that violence is happening disproportionately in minority communities. And that, unfortunately, is in big cities throughout America.”
Kelly’s use of a national stage bolstered speculation that he is angling for the job of national Homeland Security chief.Asked on CBS about his possible bid for the job, Kelly was evasive.“I’ve spent some time in Washington. I know it’s wise to keep my mouth shut at this time,” he said