NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Just one day after a judge ruled that the NYPD’s “stop-and-risk” policies have led to thousands of illegal actions, the Department announced Thursday it is “refining” the program.
Amid a loud public outcry and a class-action lawsuit, the NYPD is tweaking its controversial program, but Commissioner Ray Kelly responded to charges it is racial profiling by insisting its saving lives in black and Latino neighborhoods.
“Ninety percent of our murder victims are people of color, so if you talk about the 5,628 fewer murders that we’ve had in this past decade it’s reasonable to assume that those lives largely represent the saving of young, mostly young men of color,” Kelly told CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.
1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports
Nevertheless, Kelly said that to increase public confidence in the NYPD he is refining the program, establishing an early warning system to identify officers who have received complaints and holding precinct commanders accountable.
“It may translate into fewer stops,” Kelly said.
City Council Speaker and mayoral candidate Christine Quinn, whose criticism helped spur the NYPD changes, said Kelly’s moves were and important first step, but not enough.
“We can reduce the number significantly, keep the city safe, keep crime down and begin to reconnect the police with some of the communities they are serving where a real divide has been created,” Quinn said.
WCBS 880′s Rich Lamb reports
The New York Civil Liberties Union, which is suing the NYPD over the policy, dismissed the changes as a desperate public relations move without real reform.
“What we need in New York City is a fundamental overhaul of how street policing is done and the commissioner has not told us he thinks there’s a problem with how things are done,” the NYCLU’s Donna Lieberman said.
Coincidentally, the NYPD began filming a new training video Thursday that will outline the exact methods its officers should use during stop-and-frisk situations.
Last year, more than 630,000 people were stopped, mostly black and Hispanic, but only about 10 percent were actually arrested.
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