NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Police Commissioner Ray Kelly issued some dire predictions Sunday, warning that violent crime will rise and return New York City to the bad old days without the stop-and-frisk program.
As CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reported, a concerned-looking Kelly made multiple network television appearances Sunday morning to defend the controversial program.
Last week, U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled that the program violated the constitutional rights of the plaintiffs in the civil rights lawsuit.
The city filed its notice of appeal against the ruling on Friday. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly have repeatedly defended the program as an important tool in cutting down on violent crimes in the city. They have also blasted those who claim the police department engages in racial profiling.
“The judge in this case has indicted an entire police department – almost 36,000 police officers – for racial profiling based on what we believe is very flimsy information, flimsy evidence. The plaintiff’s expert looked at 4.4 million stops and out of that number of stops over a 10-year period, the expert working for the plaintiffs found six percent to be unjustified,” Kelly told CBS News’ Bob Schieffer on “Face The Nation.”
Kelly reiterated the fact that the federal government has deemed stop-and-frisk constitutional.
“The judge in the case looked at 19 stop – and they could’ve been any stops that the plaintiff chose – she found that 10 of the 19 stops were constitutionally acceptable,” Kelly added.
The police commissioner added that statistics show that more than 7,300 fewer murders have occurred over Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s term than in the previous 11 years.
“The losers in this if this case is allowed to stand are people who live in minority communities. Ninety-seven percent of the shooting victims in New York City last year were people of color, black or Latino,” Kelly told “Face The Nation.”
Kelly promised a rigorous appeal of Scheindlin’s ruling, which also establishes a federal monitor to oversee the NYPD, and orders cameras on the lapels and eyeglasses of more than 1,000 police officers.
“The body camera issue opens up certainly more questions than it answers: when do you have the cameras on, when do you turn them off, do you have it on during a domestic dispute, do you have it on when somebody comes to give you confidential information? All of these issues have to be answered,” Kelly said on “Face the Nation.”
In a lengthy opinion, Scheindlin wrote the city is liable for violating plaintiffs’ Fourth Amendment rights, which protects against unreasonable search and seizure. She also found violations with the Fourteenth Amendment.
Judge Scheindlin ruled that the stop-and-frisk policy amounts to “indirect racial profiling,” in which “minorities are indeed treated differently than whites,” and, “officers are conducting stops in a racially discriminatory manner.”
“Far too many people in New York City have been deprived of this basic freedom far too often,” she said. “The NYPD’s practice of making stops that lack individualized reasonable suspicion has been so pervasive and persistent as to become not only a part of the NYPD’s standard operating procedure, but a fact of daily life in some New York City neighborhoods.”
Scheindlin also accused the police department’s senior officials of violating law “through their deliberate indifference to unconstitutional stops, frisks and searches.”
She appointed an independent monitor to oversee changes in the policy, but did not call for an end to the controversial practice.
As CBS 2’s Dana Tyler reported Sunday night, two of the three Republicans running for mayor of New York City agree with Kelly about stop-and-frisk. Joseph Lhota and John Catsimaditis would continue Bloomberg’s appeal of the ruling, while George McDonald says he is against stop-and-frisk.
In the Democratic race, Bill de Blasio, Bill Thompson, Christine Quinn and John Liu all said they would end the appeal against the ruling immediately if elected, while Anthony Weiner said he would drastically reform stop-and-frisk.
Speaking Sunday, Quinn, who now serves as City Council Speaker, addressed the controversy on Sunday.
“I can tell you without a doubt, reforming stop-and-frisk, ending unconstitutional stops, putting an inspector general in the police department will not cause crime to rise. There is not a doubt in my mind,” said Quinn.
“Continuing to do unconstitutional stops makes our city unsafe because it is wrong and tears communities of color apart from the police. We have to put an end to that and we will take a further step in doing that next week when we override the mayor’s veto of the inspector general bill,” Quinn continued.
Two members of the House Judiciary Committee also appeared on “Face the Nation,” saying stop-and-frisk is in desperate need of a review and an overhaul.
“No question it’s been effective in reducing crime in New York City, but you’ve got to protect civil liberties at the same time,” said U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) “So it’s certainly appropriate to review it.”
“As applied, it’s very discriminatory,” added U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) “It overwhelmingly applies to minority areas.”
Some New Yorkers agreed with the claim that stop-and-frisk leads to discrimination.
“Just because of the way, I look they’re going to stop and frisk me,” said one man who identified himself as Junior.
“They will go over the edge sometimes,” said Shawn Cobb of the West Side of Manhattan.
Over the past decade, NYPD officers stopped, questioned and sometimes patted down about 5 million people. A total of 87 percent of them were black or Hispanic.
Weapons were found only a fraction of the time.
The Bloomberg Administration bases the success of stop-and-frisk on a statistic – in the past 10 years, the city’s murder rate has dropped by 50 percent compared with the prior decade.
Meanwhile Sunday, Quinn voiced her support for Ray Kelly to be named secretary of the federal Department of Homeland Security. His name has been floated for the position since current DHS chief Janet Napolitano announced her plans to step down from the post.
Both New York U.S. senators – Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand — have voiced support for Kelly to lead DHS.
On “Face The Nation,” Kelly refused to answer a question about his possible nomination for the post.
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