In response to claims of racial bias and discrimination in its stop-and-frisk policy, New York Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly said that, in fact, African Americans aren’t being stopped enough.
During a television interview on ABC’s Nightline, New York Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly credited the city’s controversial stop-and-frisk program with bringing down crime rates to record lows and said that the NYPD is “understopping” the Blacks who are responsible for the majority of the crimes.
“About 70 percent to 75 percent of the people described as committing violent crimes — assault, robbery, shootings, grand larceny — are described as being African-American,” Kelly said. “The percentage of people who are stopped is 53% African-American, so really, AfricanAmericans are being ‘understopped’ in relation to the percentage of people being described as being the perpetrators of violent crime.”
According to research done by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), 86 percent of the stops are of African-Americans or Latinos. Eighty-eight percent of those stops did not lead to an arrest.
Some city residents believe that the continuance of programs like stop-and-frisk creates divisions between the communities and the police.
“When things like this happen, there’s no trust,” Kasim Walters of Flatbush, Brooklyn said during the telecast. But Commissioner Kelly calls these allegations to be “proactive policing.”
“We are trying to save his life,” Kelly said. “And we are trying to save the life of other young people who are disproportionately victimized.”