Yesterday, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly was heckled during a Q&A period of David Dinkins' graduate class at Columbia University. Kelly reportedly was unfazed by the outburst, which was in part spurred by alleged police misconduct during OWS protests, and made the sardonic comment, "Well, this is very intimidating." Now, a tipster sent us a video of activist Matthew Swaye following Kelly out of the building and trying to award him the "2011 Bull Connor Award."
Swaye, who was there with members of Stop Stop And Frisk as well as Occupy Wall Street, yells, "Thank you for keeping the city safe for white people, thank you sir for keeping the city safe for white heterosexual males!" as Kelly brushes past him with his security detail and doesn't look back. "I have lived in this city for 6 years and I have never been stopped and frisked," Swaye says. "700,000 black and Latino males stopped and frisked every year. Thank you sir, we can do better! 1 million Black and Latino males next year!"
"We were outside the classroom and were completely unaware of anything going on inside," Swaye tells us. "He had his security guys standing outside, and they thought we were waiting for someone else. Towards the middle of my first sentence, he knew what was happening."
Swaye, a 34-year-old Columbia grad and former 7th grade teacher at Kipp Academy in the Bronx, said he became involved with Stop Stop And Frisk because many of his students had been stopped and he hadn't. "All my boys had been stopped and it keeps us from having any sort of equal relationship. I'm a poet, if anyone is suspicious, it's me! Why aren't they stopping me?"
Upset by the fact that blacks and Latinos are frisked at a much higher rate than whites, Swaye was arrested with Cornel West at a demonstration in front of the 28th Street Precinct building last month. He acknowledges that Kelly, with his JD and numerous other accolades is intelligent, but out of touch. "I'm sure he has an excellent mind, what he does is impressive, he's running an enormous organization," Swaye says, "But he's what, 70? He and Mayor Bloomberg, they're too old and they're too wealthy to be in touch with common people."
"I don't blame the average officer for stopping so many people. They gotta make numbers, and if you're going to make numbers, you're not not talking to a doorman to get into a high rise to bust a white guy with an 8-ball. But the system is just absurd."