NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly has infuriated several community leaders by declaring that many of them are more interested in making a stink about the department's stop and frisk policy than in speaking out against gun violence. In the wake of a particularly violent week in NYC—from July 2nd through the 8th, 77 people were shot—Kelly told reporters yesterday, "There doesn’t seem to be any major community response. 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." Cue non-shockingly loud condemnation from community leaders!
“I believe [Kelly] is using racial undertones to divide this city on who has a passion to deal with the issues of crime," state Sen. Eric Adams of Brooklyn told the Post. "He basically said black elected officials don’t care about the safety of their community." Speaking to the Daily News, City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito called Kelly’s comments "really irresponsible and quite inflammatory. We are all appalled at the level of violence. They don't take criticism very well, and that’s clear by those kinds of statements."
Kelly was also asked why stop and frisk disproportionately violates the rights of black and Latinos. "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." Over to you, diehard stop-and-frisk critic Jumaane Williams!
"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," Councilman Williams told the News, insisting he's been "anything but silent" about gun violence in NYC. "Unfortunately, the mayor and the commissioner have been deaf,” Williams declared. "Maybe [Kelly] would like to come with me when I go to the families of the victims just hours after they’ve lost a son and see just how silent I am."
And of course, no outrage roundup would be complete without the master Reverend Al Sharpton, who must have left his flamethrower in his other suit: "Clearly, we stand with him against violence, but we disagree with him on stop-and-frisk." As for Mayor Bloomberg, we know by now that there's no daylight between him and Ray Kelly. A spokesperson for the mayor's office says, “The commissioner didn’t say anything he hasn’t said multiple times before, and the mayor is in agreement."