New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly defended his department’s controversial stop-and-frisk practice in a Wall Street Journal op-ed Monday, arguing accusations that the practice constitutes “racial profiling” are “disingenuous” and “incendiary.”
In the op-ed, titled “The NYPD: Guilty of Saving 7,383 Lives,” Kelly wrote that the outbreak of criticism of stop-and-frisk in the wake of Trayvon Martin’s death serves to “obscure the rock-solid legal and constitutional foundation underpinning the police department’s tactics and the painstaking analysis that determines how we employ them.”
Kelly also wrote that stop-and-frisk tactics have significantly lowered the murder rate during Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration, from 13,212 in the 11 years before Bloomberg’s tenure to 5,849 during the mayor’s time in office. Those 7,383 lives saved were “largely the lives of young men of color,” he wrote.
Appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Tuesday, Kelly stood by his column and reiterated that stop-and-frisk practices are “proactive policing.”