“I’m talking about political leadership, they’re not out there talking about the problem,” NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said on Inside City Hall last night, defending his department’s use of the controversial stop-and-frisk policy. “They’re not out there talking about, ‘Hey, we have a lot of young men of color shooting each other.’ You don’t hear that spoken about openly. You do hear unhappiness with the tactics and strategies that we use.”
The host, Errol Louis, interjected to argue that elected officials do indeed talk about violence, and not just problems with the NYPD, causing Mr. Kelly to retort, “Well, you’re not reporting it. They do report it when they criticize the police though, certainly on New York 1.”
And it turns out that one of the chief critics of the NYPD’s current tactics, Councilman Jumaane Williams, agrees, sort of.
“Obviously I think there is some things the media should do better and must do better to get this message across,” he said on the Brian Lehrer Show this morning. “But the commissioner knows about these events. As I said, that ‘Not in My Hood’ march actually had to get special permission from his office because we needed a special permit.”
Mr. Williams proceeded to argue that Mr. Kelly himself should be attending events highlighting violence in his neighborhood and others.
“He doesn’t come out to these events even when invited,” he said. “Now you have funerals for people like Zurana Horton, who died a hero, meaning shot protecting children. That was the perfect event for the commissioner to show up.”
“There is a nugget of truth in the commissioner’s comments,” he added later. “I do believe some more leaders need to do more to step up and speak out. The problem is that the commissioner has an audacity to say that because he is not even listening to those of us who are speaking out.”