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

Families begin relocating from public housing complex

Baker Heights is in need of repairs deemed to costly to make, and will be demolished and replaced.

Trail work by juvenile offenders builds resumes, confidence

Kayak Point trails were built out this year by groups from Denney Juvenile Justice Center.

Small fire breaks out at haunted house in Everett

Plastic that was supposed to be noncombustable was sitting next to a hot lightbulb.

Rules of the road for ‘extra-fast pedestrians’ — skateboarders

State traffic law defines them as pedestrians, and yet they are often in the middle of the street.

Distress beacon leads rescuers to Pacific Crest Trail hikers

Two men in their 20s had encountered snow and waited two nights for a helicopter rescue.

City of Everett to give $400K to a nonprofit housing project

The city expects to enter a contract with HopeWorks, an affiliate of Housing Hope.

Everett mayoral campaign is one of the priciest ever

Many campaign donors are giving to both Cassie Franklin and Judy Tuohy.

Volunteers clean up homeless camp infested with garbage

The organization’s founder used to live and do drugs in the same woods.

The way he walked led to police to Everett murder suspect

Then, witnesses said they had heard the man and an alleged accomplice talking about a robbery.

Most Read