Top officials in the Police Department did themselves no favors last week as they were caught in a lie about Commissioner Ray Kelly’s appearance in a controversial film about militant Islam. Police officials initially denied that the commissioner was interviewed specifically for the film, called The Third Jihad, but they had to retract that claim almost immediately. The department’s claim was so easily proven false that you have to wonder how these kinds of decisions are made at 1 Police Plaza.
The commissioner’s appearance in the film, it seems to us, should have been a nonissue. Public figures are interviewed for stories—whether on film or in print—all the time. They are not responsible for the content of a story or a film. Makers of The Third Jihad have been accused of fomenting hatred against the city’s Muslim community, but Mr. Kelly certainly did not and does not endorse that view. (For the record, the filmmakers deny that they tarred all Muslims with the same brush. The film’s narrator is a devout Muslim.)
More problematic was the department’s decision to screen the film and its controversial assertions to more than 1,000 police officers. Read More