Police commissioner Ray Kelly visited Bedford-Stuyvesant Wednesday evening (23) and promptly defended the NYPD’s controversial stop and frisk tactics.
Police commissioner Ray Kelly visited Bedford-Stuyvesant Wednesday evening (23) and promptly defended the NYPD’s controversial stop and frisk tactics. “The tactic is working and it is a valuable tool for saving the lives of people of color,” Kelly said at the monthly 79th Precinct Community Council meeting held at the Brooklyn Job Corps Building, 585 Dekalb Avenue. Kelly noted he was once assigned to Bed-Stuy earlier in his career and praised 79th Precinct Commanding Officer Dep. Inspector Peter Bartoszek and the rest of the squad for helping bring violent crime down in the community about 16 percent for the year. After initial remarks, Kelly spoke about the stop and frisk tactic in response to a resident who commented, “We are not statistics. Stop and frisk is wrong.”
Kelly said the stop and frisk tactic most helps communities of color as 98 percent of shooting victims and 94 percent of murder victims last year were people of color. Kelly also responded to a resident’s comment that there needs to be more cops on the street by saying the police force has been reduced some 6,000 cops over the last decade because of budget cuts. “We have been doing more with less,” he said, noting that the city has gained more than a million people in the last decade and yet crime is at all-time lows. Kelly also addressed the many lawsuits against the NYPD saying it is the nature of policing that causes the litigations. In the police business people get hurt and sometimes killed, and other people get tickets and arrested, so there’s bound to be disputes, he said. Kelly said he sometimes wishes the Bloomberg administration hadn’t started with a policy of settling so many of these lawsuits out of court because it encourages others to file a lawsuit. “The city of Chicago has taken the position that many of these cases go to trial,” he said.