Police Commissioner Ray Kelly confirmed during a press conference yesterday that shootings rose in the weeks after a landmark federal court ruling that deemed stop & frisk unconstitutional, though he was reluctant to say whether the ruling itself is the culprit.

"It’s too early to tell," he said. "We don’t have enough information to label it a trend, and we don’t know the reason for it."

But yesterday the New York Post, working closely with the NYPD, used anonymous police sources to place the blame for the uptick on the judge's ruling. "They're scared of being sued," one source said. "They feel as if the city is not going to indemnify them in lawsuits."

Kelly, who has argued aggressively along with Mayor Bloomberg that stop-and-frisk has been largely responsible for the city's record low crime rate, broadly agreed with the anonymous voices in the Post, though he chose his words carefully.

"Obviously there is a generalized concern that these pieces of legislation from the City Council, and the judge's decision may have somewhat of a chilling effect on officers' engagement," he said. "Proactivity has been, I think, the main reason why crime has gone down to record lows...We have to be concerned that the recent decisions and legislation will somehow impact that willingness."

CompStat [PDF] reveals that shootings spiked by 12.9 percent from August 11 through September 8 compared to the the same time frame last year. There have been 140 shootings in 2013, compared with 124 in 2012 during that period, and the number of people shot has increased also, with 164 people struck this year, versus 150 last year.

"It's obviously something that we do and have to watch closely, and we will," Kelly said.

Yet shootings and murders overall have declined drastically from 2013 to 2012: according to the Mayor's Office, shootings are down by 24.8%, while murders have decreased by 26.9%.

The conference was held in conjunction with Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance to tout the recent indictment of two suspects charged with illegally selling firearms after an officer bought more than 45 illegal guns from the pair as part of an undercover sting.

"While you may look at these guns and see a scary-looking object, I look at those guns and quite honestly, I think of someone who is not shot or killed," Vance said. He added that since he took over as DA in 2010, the incidents of shootings in Manhattan have decreased by 32.8 percent. Not mentioned during the conference was the Post's assertion that cops seized only 239 guns between August 10 and September 8, compared to 289 acquired during the same time last year.

Is Kelly, who presumably will not maintain his role as police commissioner after January, worried about the safety of the city once a new mayor takes office?

"Things are said during the campaign that aren’t necessarily followed through on when someone assumes office," he said. "We’ll have to wait and see."