You have to hand it to Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly for taking on all comers over stop and frisk and the recent spate of violence, which led to 77 people shot in a week and 16 murders over the July 4 holiday.
On Monday, and again yesterday, Kelly railed against what he sees as apathy over the violence among community leaders, and too much hysteria over the stop and frisk campaign.
“There doesn’t seem to be any major community response,” Kelly told reporters in Harlem on Tuesday, according to the Daily News. “Many of them will speak out about stop and frisk but are shockingly silent when it comes to the level of violence right in their own communities.”
It’s unusual for a police commissioner to publicly criticize civilian pols on big issues, but Kelly has been adamant in defending the stop and frisk campaign as a key tool in reducing gun violence. Despite a lot of political pressure, fueled by the upcoming mayoral campaign, he doesn’t seem to be backing down, and has in fact intensified his public statements on the issue.
One of the victims was three years old. “We have not had a demonstration about this three-year-old child,” He continued. “We’ve had demonstrations about virtually every other issue in this city, except the level of violence.”
“Ninety-six percent of our shooting victims are people of color, yet these community leaders are not speaking about that. I’d like to see some political outcry. I want them to be outraged that a 3-year-old child is shot on the streets.”
The reaction from pols was fairly predictable, with Councilman Jumaane WIlliams saying he was “outraged at the presumptuous and patently false comment of Commissioner Kelly.” Williams added that the increase in gun violence shows that stop and frisk doesn’t work.
State Sen. Eric Adams, a former police officer, said Kelly’s remarks prove he is disconnected, and that the NYPD’s strategies are not addressing the issue.
Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito: Kelly’s remarks are “inflammatory and irresponsible.”