Ray Kelly, Bloomberg Defend Stop-and-Frisk, Vow Appeal

By Kristen Meriwether
Kristen Meriwether
Kristen Meriwether
Journalist
August 12, 2013 Updated: August 12, 2013

NEW YORK—Hours after a judge ruled the practice of stop-and-frisk violated New Yorkers’ rights and appointed a federal monitor to oversee the NYPD, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly vigorously defended the practice and vowed an appeal.

“What I find most disturbing and offensive about this decision is the notion that the NYPD engages in racial profiling. That simply is recklessly untrue,” Kelly said from the Blue Room on Monday. “We do not engage in racial profiling. It is prohibited by law, it is prohibited by our own regulations.”

Bloomberg said the NYPD targeted neighborhoods based on crime rates, not the ethnicity of the residents. 

“We go to where the reports of crime are,” Bloomberg said. “Those unfortunately happen to be poor neighborhoods and minority neighborhoods. But that is not the original objective, or intent, or how we get there.”

The mayor also took exception to Judge Shira A. Scheindlin’s conduct during and after the trail, claiming she gave the plaintiff advice prior to the case.

“Throughout the trial that just concluded, the judge made it clear she was not at all interested in the crime reductions here or how we achieved them,” Bloomberg said. “She ignored the real-world realities of crime, the fact that stops match-up with crime statistics, and the fact that our police officers on patrol—the majority of whom are black, Hispanic, or members of other ethnic or racial minorities—make an average about less than one stop a week.” 

Bloomberg also said Scheindlin overlooked that 90 percent of stops are deemed legal, and another four to five percent are deemed questionable. She focused instead on the five percent of stops deemed problem stops. 

As part of the ruling, police officers will be required to wear body-worn cameras on a trial basis. 

“It would be a nightmare,” Bloomberg said saying the logistics would be next to impossible. He also questioned the legality, as people stopped would be forced to be filmed. 

“It is a solution that is not a solution to the problem,” Bloomberg said.

Kelly did not have specific changes his department would make while the ruling was under appeal, saying his council would need to review the entire document first. 

Michael Cardozo, Corporation Council for the City of New York, did not have a specific time frame on the appeal. Mayor Bloomberg’s term is up on Dec. 31, 2013. Bill de Blasio said, if elected, he would drop the appeal if it still had not cleared the courts by Jan. 1, 2104.

RELATED: NY Politicians Respond to Federal Rejection of City’s Stop-and-Frisk Policy

Kristen Meriwether
Kristen Meriwether
Journalist