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Quinn: Next mayor should keep Kelly at NYPD

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, speaking, is joined

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, speaking, is joined by Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, right, and other city officials as she announces a public service campaign to fight domestic violence during a news conference at police headquarters in New York. (May 8, 2012) Credit: Jason DeCrow

A Manhattan news conference Tuesday about a new campaign against domestic violence became a stage for City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to indicate she would ask the NYPD commissioner to stay on if she became mayor, despite indicating she had some differences with him.

With Ray Kelly standing beside her at NYPD headquarters, Quinn, a Democrat who is considered a front-runner in the 2013 election, lauded him in no uncertain terms.

"Whoever the next mayor is in the City of New York would be incredibly lucky to have Ray Kelly stay on as police commissioner," said Quinn, who reportedly has raised more than $5 million for the Democratic primary later this year.

After Quinn left the room, Kelly, when asked by reporters whether he had plans to run for mayor or would stay on in the next administration, answered: "The only statement I will make in that regard is that I have no plans to run for elective office."

Minutes earlier, Quinn acknowledged that she and Kelly have had "ongoing conversations" about a number of controversial issues, including the NYPD's stop-and-frisk practice in which officers stop, question and frisk people on the street based on descriptions of suspects or suspicions of cops.

Critics say that black and Hispanic men make up the disproportionate number of persons stopped based on population percentages.

Quinn said she wrote Kelly earlier in the year saying she thought if would be "very productive" for stop and frisk practices to be reformed.

"It is not a practice that I think the police department should stop. It is a tool they should keep in their toolbox," Quinn said. "But I think it needs significant reform, given the high number [of stops] we are seeing."

Quinn also expressed support for the NYPD counterterrorism operations, saying that the police should continue them "until it is clear to me that people's civil liberties have been violated or a crime has been committed." Some Muslims have complained that past NYPD surveillance and fact-finding violated their civil rights and profiled them.

The domestic violence awareness campaign that kicked off Tuesday asks the public to speak out about and report incidents to police. Officials are using subway and bus ads in English, Spanish and Russian to get out the message. Russian and Spanish are used because those communities have seen high incidents of domestic violence, which Kelly said was underreported citywide.


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