Ray Kelly tends to stay out of politics, much to the dismay of some, but the city’s police commissioner fired a rhetorical shot at President Barack Obama while discussing gun violence with the Daily News yesterday.
“Maybe the city most affected (by guns) is Chicago,” Mr. Kelly said. “The President’s hometown. But barely a peep out of him.”
“I’m talking about political leadership, they’re not out there talking about the problem,” NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said on Inside City Hall last night, defending his department’s use of the controversial stop-and-frisk policy. “They’re not out there talking about, ‘Hey, we have a lot of young men of color shooting each other.’ You don’t hear that spoken about openly. You do hear unhappiness with the tactics and strategies that we use.”
The host, Errol Louis, interjected to argue that elected officials do indeed talk about violence, and not just problems with the NYPD, causing Mr. Kelly to retort, “Well, you’re not reporting it. They do report it when they criticize the police though, certainly on New York 1.”
The Queens Chronicle published an interview with NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly and his top spokesman Paul Browne in which Mr. Browne described the notion many reporters were arrested at the police raid on the Occupy Wall Street encampment in Zuccotti Park as “a total myth.” In his story about the interview, Chronicle Editor in Chief Peter C. Mastrosimone wrote that Mr. Browne claimed “only one journalist was arrested during the operation,” but the NYPD told us there were actually two arrests of credentialed reporters during the raid.
“The information that I have here–there were two individuals that were arrested in Zuccotti Park, which was Julie Walker and Patrick Hedlund, they were credentialed individuals,” said Sergeant Ryan with the NYPD’s office of the deputy commissioner for public information.
NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly and his top spokesman, Paul Browne, gave a lengthy, exclusive interview to the Queens Chronicle in which they discussed one of the biggest controversies surrounding the Department in recent months–the arrests of journalists during last November’s raid on the Occupy Wall Street encampment in Zuccotti Park. Mr. Browne apparently denied reports of journalists arrested at Zuccotti Park and attributed them to protesters using fake press credentials.
“Paul Browne, the deputy commissioner for public information, who accompanied Kelly to the interview, added that only one journalist was arrested during the operation, despite stories to the contrary, which he called ‘a total myth,’” wrote Chronicle Editor in Chief Peter C. Mastrosimone. “Occupy Wall Street protesters were forging press credentials in an effort to get through the police lines, he added, but that doesn’t mean actual reporters were arrested.”
One afternoon earlier this month, Bill de Blasio, the city’s public advocate and a potential mayoral candidate, held a press conference on the steps of City Hall to unveil a new report and suggest a modest reform. The New York Police Department has seen the number of people it has stopped and frisked skyrocket, often without yielding any evidence of a crime. Mr. de Blasio suggested the agency simply record the number and location of their stops, just as they record murder, thefts and rapes under CompStat, the computerized police accountability system that is credited with keeping the city’s plunging crime rate low.
A few hours later, Howard Wolfson, Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s deputy mayor for communications and an old pal of Mr. de Blasio’s from their days on the Hillary Clinton Senate campaign, sent out a blistering response.
As the tension over the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policies escalates and various mayoral contenders are leaping out to get in front of this issue, Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced changes “in response to my letter and calls from others seeking reforms to stop and frisk procedures.” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly announced, Ms. Quinn said in a statement, “changes to officer training, monitoring, supervision, transparency, and accountability.”
While it’s not particularly clear if anything is necessarily being done to reduce the total number of stop-and-frisks, there will now be additional training and increased reaction to complaints about any officers accused of misconduct. In Ms. Quinn’s original letter requesting reforms, she requested “cultural sensitivity” training, which may be what Mr. Kelly will now be implementing, in some form.
A new poll out today by Quinnipiac Polling Institute throws some cold water on those who want Ray Kelly to run for mayor.
Mr. Kelly, currently the city’s police commissioner, would lose to all three top Democrats, the poll found.
He trails Council Speaker Christine Quinn by 15 points, former City Comptroller Bill Thompson by 12 points, and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio by 12.
Mr. Kelly still has high approval ratings, however, with 66 percent of New Yorker approving of his tenure as the city’s top cop.
New York’s five Republican Party chairman have put out a most unusual statement this afternoon about the 2013 mayoral race.
In it, they reveal a dinner they shared last night, and they sound intrigued by the possibility of longshot Democratic candidate Tom Allon running on their line, calling him “without question the most moderate, pro-business candidate in the Democratic field” but don’t sound as keen on Ray Kelly, who the city’s tabloids have been pumping to run for the office.
Bob Turner refused to rule out tax increases as a way to balance the federal budget.
A number of Dan Halloran domain names were purchased by a defunct, neo-pagan charity founded by Halloran.
State Financial Services Superintendent Ben Lawsky announced a new regulations that give insurance companies more leeway to decline claims if they suspect fraud.
Mitt Romney had a private breakfast with Mike Bloomberg at his philanthropic foundation this morning.
The good people at Daily Intel caught up with NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly at a cocktail party before last weekend’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner and they asked the city’s top cop about the mounting calls for him to run for mayor. Mr. Kelly, who has faced mounting criticism this year, quipped he was having enough trouble holding on to his current position.
“I’m the police commissioner. I’m running for police commissioner,” Mr. Kelly said. “I want to hold on to my job. I don’t know — I might be out the door!”