NYPD head: Stop-frisk ruling will hurt minorities

NEW YORK — Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly assailed a federal judge’s finding of racial discrimination and demand for changes to his department’s stop and frisk practice, telling a Sunday news show that minority communities will be “the losers” if the ruling isn’t overturned.

During interviews on three different shows, Kelly also raised questions about the judge’s call to try outfitting officers with tiny video cameras. Throughout, he faulted the judge’s reasoning and defended the New York Police Department’s use of stop and frisk as legal and life-saving.

“The losers in this, if this case is allowed to stand, are people who live in minority communities,” he said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” He noted that 97 percent of shooting victims are black or Hispanic, reasoned that similar demographics apply if a stop deters a killing and added that there have been more than 7,300 fewer killings in the 11 full years of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s tenure so far than in the 11 years before.

“Things are going right here in New York. And this decision certainly has the potential of overturning it,” Kelly said on ABC News’ “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”

If stop and frisk were abandoned, “no question about it —violent crime will go up,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Over the past decade, police have stopped, questioned and sometimes patted down about 5 million people; 87 percent were black or Hispanic, groups that make up 54 percent of the city population. About 10 percent of the stops spur an arrest or summons. Police find weapons a fraction of the time.

U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin declared Monday that at least 200,000 stops were made without reasonable suspicion and that the NYPD’s practice is intentionally racially biased. The city plans to appeal.

Kelly said Sunday that Scheindlin’s ruling rested on mistaken logic: The racial and ethnic makeup of those stopped should be compared to and reliably mirrors that of crime suspects, not the population at large, Kelly said. The judge called that approach wrong “because the stopped population is overwhelmingly innocent — not criminal.”

Kelly and Bloomberg have made the same point before, and civil rights and minority advocates have deplored it, particularly after Bloomberg said in June that “we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little.”

Kelly’s remarks Sunday brought a rebuke from NAACP President Benjamin Jealous.

“Just because there are more murders in our community doesn’t mean that you can treat all of us like we are guilty,” Jealous said on “Meet the Press.” “… He’s just way off base.”

Scheindlin appointed a monitor to oversee various changes, including a one-year test that could put video cameras in more than 1,000 officers’ lapels or eyeglasses.

Kelly suggested Sunday the cameras could be problematic when police respond to domestic arguments or when someone wants to provide confidential information.

More in Local News

Spring start set for big Everett apartment complex

The building will be eight stories tall, with seven of those visible from Broadway.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s top images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Amtrak service from Seattle north unaffected by DuPont wreck

Sound Transit reported no disruptions for its Sounder commuter trains serving Edmonds and Seattle.

Two from Oak Harbor killed in head-on, 2-car crash

One car crossed the center line, hitting the other car. Both drivers died.

Clues in recovered backpack help identify robbery suspect

Police find a ticket with the man’s name on it after an attempted shoplifting at a Safeway.

Police presence returns to Edmonds School District

Jacob Hubby is set to walk the halls of Meadowdale High School as a school resource officer.

County budget takes effect without Somers’ signature

The council passed its version with unanimous support and could have overridden an executive veto.

Separate Everett fires send man to hospital, damage boat

The man was hospitalized for smoke inhalation from the early morning fire.

Suspected escort charged with felony assault, robbery

She allegedly told police she shot the man in the head “because he was performing (a sex act) wrong.”

Most Read