NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio says he’s “cleared the air” with Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, a day after Kelly told Playboy magazine Democratic candidates were “pandering” when they criticized stop-and-frisk.
De Blasio spoke Saturday at the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network in Harlem.
He declined to get into specifics of his discussion with Kelly, but told reporters, “It was a good conversation and we cleared the air and we’re moving forward.”
Pressed on what exactly he meant or if any apology was made, de Blasio said, “Just exactly what I said, we cleared the air.”
Democratic hopefuls repeatedly bashed the use of stop-and-frisk during the hard-fought mayoral primary, and it became a central issue in the general election.
In his interview, Kelly was asked by the interviewer if the candidates were “just full of s–t.” Kelly said “absolutely.”
“It just goes to show you what some politicians will do,” Kelly said. “They’ll say or do anything to get elected.”
De Blasio, a vocal critic of the city’s use of the tactic, has used his opposition to stop-and-frisk to draw a distinction between himself and the policies of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has staunchly supported the practice throughout his 12-year tenure in City Hall.
“Ray Kelly’s legacy is the following: 7,500 fewer people shot dead than there would have been if we just had the murder rate when we came in and 7,500, history shows, would almost all be male minorities,” Bloomberg said Friday. ”So if Ray’s legacy is saving 7,500 lives, I’d have a smile on my face if I were him.”
A federal judge ruled in August that the city violated the civil rights of tens of thousands of blacks and Hispanics by disproportionately stopping, questioning and sometimes frisking them.
U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin assigned a federal monitor to oversee the department’s training and help change its policy.
The city has appealed her decision and last month a federal appeals court stayed her decision, pulling Scheindlin off the case.
The city has moved to vacate the orders all together.
De Blasio has said he would drop the appeal but could also settle with those urging reforms, eliminating federal oversight.
But on Saturday, speaking before about 100 people at the National Action Network, de Blasio reiterated his critique of the program.
“If you believe that our young men of color should be respected and celebrated and not treated like suspects even when they’ve done nothing wrong, then you’ll be with me as we make these changes,” he said to thunderous applause.
In the Playboy interview, Kelly defended the use of the tactic, dismissing an exit poll that found that 59 percent of Democratic primary voters considered the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk practices excessive.
“Among the people, there’s no groundswell against stop-and-frisk, certainly not in minority communities,” Kelly said.
De Blasio has said he won’t keep Kelly as police commissioner when he takes office in January.
The NYPD didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
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