Posted on July 13, 2012

NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly Rails Against Community Leaders for Their ‘Silence’ After a Week Where 77 People Were Shot in the City

Finn Vigeland, NY Daily News, July 10, 2012

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly demanded Tuesday to know why the community leaders who rail against stop-and-frisk policies haven’t led demonstrations against the gun violence exploding this summer.

“There doesn’t seem to be any major community response,” Kelly said.

“Many of them will speak out about stop-and-frisk” but are “shockingly silent when it comes to the level of violence right in their own communities,” he said.

Seventy-seven people were shot in New York last week during the heat wave, including a 3-year-old winged by crossfire as he played under a sprinkler in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.

“We have not had a demonstration about this 3-year-old child,” Kelly told reporters at an event in Harlem. “We’ve had demonstrations about virtually every other issue in this city, except the level of violence.”

Kelly asked why leaders who complain that anti-gun stop-and-frisk policies disproportionately target young black men are mum when the same young black men get shot.

“Ninety-six percent of our shooting victims are people of color, yet these community leaders are not speaking out about that,” he said. “I’d like to see some political outcry. . . . I want them to be outraged that a 3-year-old child is shot on the streets.”

About 87% of the 684,330 people stopped and frisked last year were black or Latino. Of those, about 90% were neither arrested nor issued a summons.

Kelly’s comments stirred fury in several community leaders and elected officials. {snip}

“I am outraged at the presumptuous and patently false comments of Commissioner Kelly, which directly insult communities like mine, which are grieving for our lost and trying to save our young people every day,” said City Councilman Jumaane Williams (D-Brooklyn).


The Rev. Al Sharpton was just as incensed, saying he has worked to bring down violence for years.

“Clearly, we stand with him against violence, but we disagree with him on stop-and-frisk,” Sharpton said.


The city’s stop-and-frisk policy is being undermined by the courts. Last month, a federal judge approved a class-action lawsuit over the practice, and Manhattan appeals courts have twice tossed out the convictions of teenagers caught with guns.