Police Commissioner On Hot Seat At City Council Hearing
Police commissioner Ray Kelly faced questions about the Kimani Gray shooting Tuesday, clashing with the local city council member. But Kelly showed little emotion when he heard that a police officer cursed at a City Councilwoman, reducing her to tears. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
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Police Commissioner Ray Kelly is known for his stoic style. He rarely raises his voice in public or gets swept up in emotional fights over the NYPD.
But his response to City Councilwoman Helen Foster telling him at a City Council hearing Tuesday that a police officer cursed at her is notable nonetheless.
Kelly said nothing about the exchange.
"I was cursed at by a police officer, and it takes a lot to bring me to tears, but it brought me to tears," Foster said.
Foster said she was double parked on Arthur Avenue. She said she identified herself as a council member and explained to the officer that she was waiting for her 80-year-old mother.
"He said, I don't give a [expletive] if she's 100," Foster said. "And at that point, I was like, 'Whoa.'"
Later, when NY1 asked Kelly if that type of behavior is acceptable, he said, "Of course not."
At the same time the commissioner is sparring with City Councilman Jumaane Williams.
"If the stops are working, they are going down now, along with the shootings," Williams said at the hearing Tuesday.
Kelly responded, "You know they are working," to which Williams responded, "I don't know they're working. When we use them properly, it works."
The sparks flew at a council hearing in the wake of violent protests that erupted during a vigil in East Flatbush for 16-year-old Kimani Gray, who was killed by police. Kelly said Gray pointed a loaded gun at police.
"There's nothing to indicate that this shooting, at this time, was outside the guidelines," Kelly said.
Williams said the protest was not just about Gray's death, but about years of frustration with police.
"People are angry," he said. "I feel it. I hear it. I know it. And it sucks when you are trying to tell the people who can actually do something about it, and they're refusing to listen."
Williams is asking the mayor and the police commissioner to walk with him through his Brooklyn district to talk to constituents about issues like police shootings and the department's stop, question and frisk policy. Kelly dismissed the invitation, calling it a photo op.