Made to sit in front of the New York City Council yesterday and answer questions about various department tactics and abuses, including stop-and-frisk, spying, and Occupy Wall Street actions, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly was having none of it. The New York Times describes Kelly’s “dismissive” and “pugnacious assault of the Council” as “unusually expansive and rare.” A councilwoman attempting to end one debate said, “I think I’ve made my point,” to which Kelly responded, “I’m not certain what your point is.” His point was that his critics have problems, but no solutions:
The defensive scowl etched into Mr. Kelly’s face dropped away as he suggested that the Council was notably at a loss to offer ideas — any ideas at all — for how to stop violence among young minority men.
“What I haven’t heard is any solution to the violence problems in these communities — people are upset about being stopped, yet what is the answer?” Mr. Kelly asked Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito, who had been asking the commissioner to acknowledge that the department’s practice of street stops in minority communities left many people “feeling under siege.”
“What have you said about how do we stop this violence?” Mr. Kelly asked, asserting that violence among minority youth is “something that the government has an obligation to try to solve.”
He could have continued, “Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You? … I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom.… And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall.”