Should New York City stop "stop and frisk"?
On the heels of a federal judge's ruling that called his department's "stop and frisk" policy largely unconstitutional, New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly hit the Sunday talk show circuit to defend the practice.
"We have record low numbers of murders in New York City, record low numbers of shootings," Kelly said in an interview broadcast on NBC's "Meet The Press" on Sunday. "We're doing something right to save lives."
According to the NYPD, 52 percent of the 4.4 million people stopped from January 2004 through June 2012 were black; 31 percent Hispanic; and just 10 percent white. And 88 percent of those stopped by police were not arrested.
"We are sensitive to this," Kelly said of the statistics. "Nobody wants to be stopped. At the very least you're giving up your time. But we need some balance here. The stark reality is that violence is happening disproportionately in minority communities. And that unfortunately is in big cities throughout America."
In her ruling last week, U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin declared that the NYPD policy had resulted in “indirect racial profiling," and the city's top officials "have turned a blind eye to the evidence that officers are conducting stops in a racially discriminatory manner. in their zeal to defend a policy they believe to be effective, they have willfully ignored overwhelming proof that the policy of targeting the right people is racially discriminatory and therefore violates the United States Constitution."
The city of New York filed a notice of appeal Friday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.
“What we’re doing — and what we’re trying to do — is save lives,” Kelly told ABC’s "This Week." “Things are going right here in New York. And this decision certainly has the potential of overturning it."
Ninety-seven percent of shooting victims are black or Hispanic, Kelly noted, and there have been 7,300 fewer killings during Mayor Michael Bloomberg's 11-year tenure than in the 11 years before.
On CBS' "Face The Nation," Kelly added: "The losers in this, if this case is allowed to stand, are people who live in minority communities."