Ray Kelly: NYPD Could Actually Be Stopping More Black People, Because They Commit Crimes

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Photo: Mark Peterson/Corbis

In NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg's endless defensive evangelism for stop-and-frisk, rarely are they so direct as Kelly was on ABC's Nightline. "It makes no sense to use census data, because half the people you stop would be women," said Kelly last night, turning to perhaps oversimplified math in the face of critics who point out that 84 percent of the stops target men of color. "About 70 to 75 percent of the people described as committing violent crimes — assault, robbery, shootings, grand larceny — are described as being African-American," he continued. "The percentage of people who are stopped is 53 percent African-American. So really, African-Americans are being understopped in relation to the percentage of people being described as being the perpetrators of violent crime. The stark reality is that a crime happens in communities of color." Somehow, the "it could be worse" argument never convinces anyone.