Ray Kelly: By NYPD’s Count, African-Americans Are Being ‘Understopped’

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In an interview on ABC’s Nightline last night, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly elaborated on a point Mayor Michael Bloomberg made in a speech this week, about the racial breakdown of stop-and-frisks conducted by city police officers.

Bloomberg said NYPD critics are unfairly compare the number of black and Latino men stopped to the number of black and Latino men in the general population, whereas they should be comparing the numbers of stops to the descriptions of suspects.

Kelly, in his interview, said that if you use that methodology, “African-Americans are being understopped.”

A year ago, Kelly went even further, telling reporters people in “communities of color” actually “want more” stop-and-frisks. 

That kind of rhetoric will effectively require a response from City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who is the only Democratic mayoral candidate who wants Kelly to stay on as commissioner and also wants the department to make fewer stops.

Yesterday, after she took credit for a recent reduction in the number of stop-and-frisks, Quinn avoided answering a reporter’s question yesterday about whether she would continue that reduction as mayor.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Zoë Schlanger is Frontpage Editor at TPM. Zoë was a TPM intern in 2011, and prior to returning here she was editor in chief of NYU Local, the alternative independent student news site at NYU. Zoë has interned at places like the Nation, InsideClimate News, The Rachel Maddow Show and Gothamist. She can be reached at zoe@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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