New York State Senator Eric Adams testified in federal court that NYPD police commissioner Ray Kelly wanted the Stop and Frisk program to “instill fear” in young black and Latino men.
Adams pointed to a conversation in 2010, in which he expressed to Kelly that the program disproportionately targeted young men of color.
Kelly essentially responded that that was precisely the point.
Kelly “stated that he targeted and focused on that group because he wanted to instill fear in them that every time they left their homes they could be targeted by police,” Adams said.
He said Kelly justified his reasoning by asking, “How else would we get rid of guns?”
“I was amazed,” Adams said in court. “I told him that was illegal.”
Under Kelly and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg the NYPD has stopped an estimated 4.4 million people, most of whom have been in the demographic Kelly allegedly described to Adams. The policy allows officers to stop pedestrians on the street if they perceive that person is on the way to committing a crime, is in the process of committing a crime, or leaving the scene of a crime. Roughly 94 per cent of the stops result in no charges.
The City Attorney responded to Adams’ claims by questioning his recollection of the conversation, and asserting that Kelly intended to say that the program would “instill belief,” rather than fear, that they’d be targeted by police.
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