Unswayed by U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin’s ruling that stop-and-frisk constitutes “indirect racial profiling,” Ray Kelly defended the practice on three Sunday news shows, where he insisted that the policy saves lives, especially since the stops themselves “comport with the description given by the victims of perpetrators of violent crime,” as he put it on ABC’s This Week. The police commissioner also held strong to his belief that changes to stop-and-frisk will lead to chaos and crime. “No question about it, violent crime will go up,” he said on NBC’s Meet the Press.
While Scheindlin’s ruling called for a federal monitor and ordered remedies such as officers wearing body cameras in areas with the most stops, Kelly (like Mayor Bloomberg) maintained that the policy is not broken and does not need fixing: “When do you turn the camera on? When do you turn it off? Do you have it on when somebody comes and wants to give you confidential information? … Things are going right here in New York. And this decision certainly has the potential of overturning it,” he said on This Week.
But for those majority black and Hispanic residents who have been detained as a result of this practice, Kelly had some familiar words of comfort. Though he admitted that “nobody wants to be stopped,” he assured the public that the NYPD has “engaged in a major training evolution for several years, focusing on these issues, to do these stops with courtesy, do them with respect.” While the city is already in the process of appealing the judgement, it does seem that the NYPD is just going to have to evolve a little more quickly now.