De Blasio says he 'cleared' air with NYPD's Kelly

Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio speaks with the Rev.

Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio speaks with the Rev. Al Sharpton at the National Action Network in Harlem on Nov. 16, 2013. Photo Credit: CS Muncy

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New York Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio said Saturday he "cleared the air" with Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, who had told an interviewer that attacks by Democratic mayoral candidates on the NYPD's stop-and-frisk practices were "pandering" for votes.

"It was a good conversation and we cleared the air and we're moving forward," de Blasio told reporters after speaking at a rally led by the Rev. Al Sharpton at the National Action Network's headquarters in Harlem.

De Blasio said he spoke with Kelly on Friday -- the same day the commissioner's interview was published in Playboy magazine -- but declined to give more details of the conversation.

"We have an important transition to do in terms of the NYPD and in terms of the administration as a whole," de Blasio said. "I'm convinced that Commissioner Kelly will work very productively and positively with us."

An NYPD spokesman did not immediately return a call for comment.

De Blasio said he has worked with Kelly for more than 20 years and respects him, though "I obviously disagree with him on some core issues."

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During de Blasio's campaign, he asserted the NYPD's stop-and-frisk methods result in racial profiling and vowed to replace Kelly as commissioner. He also pledged to rein in the practice if elected.

Kelly said in the Playboy interview that the Democratic mayoral candidates' criticisms of the stop-and-frisk method during the campaign amounted to them "pandering to get votes." He also said the candidates had all claimed to be his friend until they ran for mayor.

In a speech at Sharpton's rally, de Blasio asked the crowd of more than 100 people to help him put pressure on state legislators to raise taxes on the wealthiest New Yorkers in order to pay for universal prekindergarten and expanded after-school programs.

"If you believe that every child in this city deserves full day pre-K, if you believe that after-school keeps our children safe, gives them more opportunity to learn and grow, if you believe in that, then you'll be standing with me in Albany. You won't let me go alone," he said.

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