State Senator Eric Adams, a former NYPD captain, testified in the federal stop-and-frisk trial Monday that Police Commissioner Ray Kelly allegedly said that the policy is used to "instill fear" in black and Hispanic youth, but the commissioner called the claim "ludicrous." NY1's Lindsey Christ filed the following report.
Before he was elected to the state Senate in 2006, Eric Adams had been a member of the New York City Police Department for 22 years. But when he was called to testify Monday, it was as a witness against the city in the federal case over whether the NYPD's use of stop-and-frisk is constitutional.
The focus of Adams' testimony was comments he says he heard Police Commissioner Ray Kelly say in 2010.
"I heard him on two different occasions indicate that we're using this policy to instill fear into African American and Hispanic youth, so each time they leave their home, they feel as though they can be stopped by the police," Adams told reporters on Monday.
Police officers are only allowed to stop and frisk individuals when there is reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.
Adams testified that he is in favor of the tactic when used properly, but that the comments he says Kelly made were "discriminatory."
"It's against the law to use the stop-and-frisk procedure as a deterrent or to instill fear or to make people believe that they are going to be stopped at anytime by the police," Adams said.
Kelly adamantly denied Adams' claims at an unrelated press conference Monday.
"It just defies anyone’s logic. Anyone who is familiar with me and what I say... it's ludicrous," the commissioner said.
Kelly also submitted an affidavit to the court denying the NYPD targets certain groups and saying individuals are never stopped for anything besides reasonable suspicion of a crime. He did acknowledge discussing how stop-and-frisk serves as a crime deterrent.
The judge would not allow Kelly's affidavit to be read into the record, since the commissioner has said he will not testify.
"I think this was an attempt to get me to testify. Make an outrageous statement that I would have to get to court to defend. Well, I'm defending it now," Kelly said.
Joseph Esposito is expected to testify on behalf of the NYPD brass. Until his retirement last week, Esposito was chief of the NYPD.