NYPD Chief Defends All the Racial Profiling He's Not Doing

Ray Kelly boasts of department's success
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2013 11:37 AM CDT
NYPD Chief Defends All the Racial Profiling He's Not Doing
In a Friday, Feb. 24, 2012 file photo, New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly responds to questions during a news conference in New York.   (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)

Ray Kelly has heard all the grumbles about the NYPD's Stop and Frisk policy—which almost exclusively ensnares minorities—and its practice of spying on Muslims, and he wants you to know that those claims are sensationalized, and anyway there's nothing wrong with targeting minorities. In a defiant op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, the NYPD chief boasts that there have been 7,383 fewer murders during Mayor Bloomberg's 11-year tenure than in the 11 years prior, citing it as evidence that the NYPD's policies work.

"Racial profiling is a disingenuous charge at best and an incendiary one at worst," Kelly writes. But then he goes on to essentially defend racial profiling, writing, "In 2003, when the NYPD recognized that 96% of individuals who were shot ... were black and Hispanic, we concentrated our officers" on troubled minority neighborhoods. He also mentions that "the race of those stopped highly correlates to descriptions provided by victims or witnesses to crimes." Kelly doesn't directly deny targeting Muslims, either, instead writing that monitoring public gatherings is legal under the Handschu Guidelines, which were modified at the department's request after Sept. 11. "Undercover officers and confidential informants do not enter a mosque unless they are following up on a lead vetted under Handschu," he assures us. Click for his full column, or read a point-by-point rebuttal by Alex Pareene here. (More Ray Kelly stories.)

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