Court Hears That Commissioner Kelly Said Stop-and-Frisk Targeted Black And Latino Youth To “Instill Fear”



Senator Adams shown in picture

We have always suspected it. But on Monday, credible testimony was presented in a courtroom that New York Police Department (NYPD) policy is geared toward the intimidation of Blacks and Latinos; young males specifically.

The testimony came from a sitting New York state senator.

Testifying in the federal class-action case, Floyd v. City of New York, State Senator Eric Adams said that during a meeting at then Governor David Paterson’s office, in 2010, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said, in reference to Black male teenagers that “he targeted or focused on that group because he wanted to instill fear in them that any time they leave their homes they could be targeted by police.” According to Senator Adams, Commissioner Kelly rationalized this by saying “How else are we going to get rid of guns?

According to Senator Adams, Commissioner Kelly was trying at the meeting to convince Paterson to veto a bill that would bar the NYPD from maintaining an electronic database containing addresses and names of people stopped but who were never charged. Adams supported the bill which Paterson ultimately endorsed.

Kelly has filed an affidavit denying Adams’ claims.

But Hakeem Jeffries, who was then an Assemblyman also attended that meeting. Now a congressman, Jeffries told The Wall Street Journal that he remembers Kelly arguing that Stop-and-Frisk was needed as a “deterrence” in which he said “he wanted individuals to think hard before carrying a weapon out in public because of the likelihood of being stopped and frisked at any time.” Jeffries said he “draws the same conclusions as Sen. Adams.”

Only state Senator Martin Golden, a supporter of Stop-and-Frisk, who is a retired police officer, and also attended the meeting support Kelly’s denial. Referring to Stop-and-Frisk, he told The Wall Street Journal that Kelly “never indicated he did it to instill fear in anyone.”

Monday during the trial a City Lawyer Heidi Grossman tried to read a prepared statement from Commissioner Kelly. But Judge Shira Scheindling would have none of it, calling it a “backdoor” way for the commissioner to testify without having to be cross-examined. “If he’d like to come here, he’s welcome in this courtroom,” said Judge Scheindling.

Why has Commissioner Kelly decided not to testify in this important case where the NYPD is accused of racially profiling minorities through the Stop-and-Frisk regime? Doesn’t the NYPD care about credibility and transparency? What is the NYPD so afraid of? The absence of the commissioner from testifying only raises more suspicion that the NYPD can’t defend itself in a court of law against the many questions that beg for answers with respect to the true motives behind NYPD’s policy with respect to Black and Brown communities.

Is it really the policy of Mr. Kelly and the NYPD to “instill fear” in minorities, if so for what reason? What is the justification for this? If it is really “to get rid of guns,” or, to make drug arrests, then shouldn’t the NYPD be stopping more White people rather than just focusing on Black teen-agers? The NYPD’s own data show that Whites were found with more guns and drugs—even though they were stopped only a fraction of the time compared to Blacks and Latinos.

The NYPD should be involved with stopping crime in Black—and White communities. The NYPD should be protecting every resident of New York City from victimization.

There can’t be two forms of policing: one for Whites and the other for Blacks and Latinos.



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