Ray "stop-and-frisk" Kelly defends his legacy

The outgoing police commissioner gives an unapologetic interview

Published December 27, 2013 4:02PM (EST)

Ray Kelly           (Reuters/Brendan Mcdermid)
Ray Kelly (Reuters/Brendan Mcdermid)

While Ray Kelly held tenure as NYPD commissioner, stop-and-frisks spiked from an average of 100,000 to 700,000 per year. Of the over 5 millions stops under Mayor Bloomberg, nearly 90 percent did not even lead to charges (let alone convictions); 86 percent were of black or Latino individuals.

Kelly leaves his post unapologetic, despite growing consensus against the racist police tactics. He told the AP: “Our general tactics and strategies have worked, and that’s why we see these record reductions ... We did what we had to do to protect the city, we did it legally, we did it pursuant to oversight by the district court — and we’re still doing it legally and we have sufficient monitoring by our legal cadre.”

Other NYPD tactics under Kelly included widespread and unconstitutional infiltration and surveillance of Muslim communities in the city, including the determination of a number of whole mosques as terrorist organizations to enable more extensive surveillance.

Brooklyn councilman Jumaane Williams (a prominent voice for NYPD reform) told the Guardian, "The city is safer but not everything Kelly has done has worked and the arrogance of not talking about that is so frustrating because we could have got past the controversy a long time ago.”

By Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email nlennard@salon.com.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

New York Nypd Police Police Commissioner Racism Ray Kelly Stop-and-frisk