By Shane Dixon Kavanaugh
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly credited the controversial stop-and-frisk tactic for helping to push New York’s crime rate to record lows.
In a television interview, New York’s top cop defended his department’s use of the crimefighting tool and blasted critics who say it targets a disproportionate number of blacks and Latinos.
“The stark reality is that crime happens in communities of color,” Kelly told “Nightline” co-anchor Bill Weir Wednesday.
“About 70% to 75% of the people described as committing violent crimes — assault, robbery, shootings, grand larceny — are described as being African-American.
“The percentage of people who are stopped is 53% African-American,” he continued. “So really, African-Americans are being understopped in relation to the percentage of people being described as being the perpetrators of violent crime.”
The commissioner also countered allegations by a Brooklyn teenager that aggressive “proactive policing” like stop-and-frisk creates divisions between communities and police.
***Stop and Frisk in various incarnations has been going on since I was a teen growing up in the Bronx. The policy targets any “brown” youth whether or not they are behaving in any suspicious or illegal way. The comments made by Commissioner Kelly are incendiary and prejudicial by nature. We have become such a metric driven culture that we have forgotten that statistics can be interpreted to support any conclusion anyone wishes to make. ~ SB***