NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton blasted his immediate predecessor, Ray Kelly, over allegations that the police department is fudging their crime statistics to show artificially low shooting numbers.
The top cop accused Mr. Kelly, who served under Mayors Michael Bloomberg and David Dinkins, of simply trying to peddle additional copies of the memoir he published this fall.
“It’s amazing the comments you’ll make when you’re selling a book, quite frankly,” Mr. Bratton said this afternoon at an unrelated press conference at Times Square. “Those comments were outrageous.”
“Shame on him,” Mr. Bratton continued, challenging the ex-top cop to “stand up” and “be a big man.” “Let him back up that allegation.”
Mr. Kelly said in a radio interview last week that “you have to take a look at those numbers… because I think there is some issues with the numbers that are being put out.” He added, without providing any more evidence, that “I think there is some redefinition going on as to what amounts to a shooting…that sort of thing.”
The city was experiencing a 2 percent drop in shootings over last year, as of last week, according to the NYPD. Police said 1,109 shootings were recorded, 23 fewer than the 1,132 that occurred during the same time frame in 2014. Homicides remain up by about 5 percent, from 332 in 2014 to 339 this year.
Mr. Kelly has been a frequent critic of the de Blasio administration, accusing the liberal mayor of allowing the city’s quality-of-life to deteriorate and not supporting the police enough. When Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, ran for mayor in 2013, he angered Mr. Kelly by criticizing the explosion of stop-and-frisks that many critics said unfairly targeted minorities. Mr. Kelly flirted with running for mayor on the Republican line and has not ruled out a future bid for office.
Mr. de Blasio added that Mr. Bratton had spoken “eloquently” about Mr. Kelly’s comments.
It’s not the first time someone has questioned Mr. Bratton’s crime statistics—the Los Angeles Times recently reported that under Mr. Bratton, serious assaults had been underreported, “skewing” crime statistics for eight years.
After the publication of this story, Mr. Kelly claimed in a lengthy statement that members of the NYPD had told him shootings were being tabulated differently. He was he was “troubled by the eroding qualify of the life in the city that is obvious to anyone who lives here.”
View the full statement below:
First, let me say, like all New Yorkers, I am troubled by the eroding qualify of the life in the city that is obvious to anyone who lives here. Most disturbing is a 20% increase in homicides by gun, accompanied by claims that overall shootings are down.
Members of the New York City Police Department have informed me that the current administration has changed the way shootings victims are calculated. For example, victim who incurs a graze wound are often not counted as a shooting victim, as was done previously. Similarly, a victim who sustains wounds by flying glass caused by a shooting is not recorded as a shooting victim.
Further, wounds sustained by a victim who refuses to cooperate with a police investigation have been recorded as self-inflicted.
All in an effort to reduce the reported number of shootings.
In homicide, the category of “circumstances undetermined pending investigation” has been misapplied to manipulate murder totals.
This information, supplied by active members of the department themselves, in no way denigrates the hard work of our police officers. Rather, it reveals an administration willing to distort the reality of what they face on the street.