Ray Kelly apologizes for Muslim film
Commissioner Ray Kelly apologized Wednesday for appearing in a controversial film about Muslim extremism that was shown at police training seminars.
"I offer my apologies to members of the Muslim community, in particular, who would find the film inflammatory and its airing on department property, though unauthorized, to be inappropriate," Kelly said in a statement.
The 2008 documentary, "The Third Jihad," was shown from October to December 2010, and could have been viewed by more than 1,480 officers, according to documents obtained by the Brennan Center for Justice through a public records request. The conservative Clarion Fund financed the 72-minute film, which Muslim groups contend distorts their religion and creates distrust.
NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said Tuesday that the movie was never shown during the actual training classes, but was put on a TV loop in another room used for filling out paperwork.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Tuesday said whoever decided to play the video exercised "terrible judgment." The NYPD said the sergeant who did so was reprimanded.
Some Muslim groups called for his resignation.
"This controversy has moved beyond an issue of poor judgment in the use of an Islamophobic training film to an issue of the integrity of public officials," Council on American-Islamic Relations-New York civil rights manager Cyrus McGoldrick said in a statement.
Browne said last year that the movie was only shown a handful of times, until the public records request revealed otherwise. He also said that when he first saw the film, he thought the Kelly segment was lifted from other interviews.
But Kelly acknowledged Wednesday he agreed to be interviewed for the movie five years ago.