NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly appeared on network talk shows yesterday to slam a federal-court decision condemning stop-and-frisk and reinforcing his defense of the policy, saying lives were at stake.
"No question about it; violent crime will go up" if the tactic is abandoned, Kelly said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
His interviews came after a federal judge Aug. 12 ruled stop-and-frisk in its current form was unconstitutional "indirect racial profiling" of blacks and Hispanics. Manhattan Federal Court Judge Shira Scheindin appointed a federal monitor to oversee reform.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg is appealing Scheindin's decision.
Of about 5 million stops in the past decade, about 10 percent have resulted in arrests, according to The Associated Press.
Kelly said that violence happens "disproportionately" in minority communities, and stop-and-frisk has resulted in "record low numbers of murders. . . . We're doing something right to save lives."
He said on CBS' "Face the Nation" that minority communities would be the losers if Scheindin's ruling stands.
He also criticized the judge's determination that cops should wear body cameras to capture their actions.
"When do you have the cameras on? When do you turn them off?" Kelly asked on ABC's "This Week."
Democratic mayoral candidates Sunday seized on Kelly's interviews as a new opportunity to blast stop-and-frisk while Republicans shored up their support of Kelly and Bloomberg.
"Ray Kelly is in denial," former Comptroller Bill Thompson said in a statement. "We need a Police Commissioner who can reduce crime without violating the Constitution."
Democrat and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio coupled his criticism with a dig at rival Christine Quinn, who has said she would keep Kelly as commissioner but has blasted excessive stop-and-frisk.
Kelly's "remarks show there is no way a Quinn administration can break with the failed policing strategies of the Bloomberg administration," de Blasio said in a statement.
Quinn in a statement responded, "In all of Bill de Blasio's public career, he hasn't accomplished a single thing related to reforming stop & frisk." The City Council speaker said that she in contrast planned to lead the council Thursday in overriding a Bloomberg veto of two bills intended to reform stop-and-frisk, including a measure to provide "permanent monitoring of the NYPD" with an inspector general.
Republican supermarket magnate John Catsimatidis said in a statement, "If the City Council cares about the lives of innocent New Yorkers, they should act responsibly this Thursday and vote to uphold Mayor Bloomberg's veto of the Community Safety Act," as the two bills are known.
Republican and former MTA chairman Joe Lhota said he continues to support Bloomberg and Kelly in their appeal of the federal ruling.