Police Commissioner Ray Kelly made the rounds of the Sunday morning talk shows where he continued to defend the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy -- a move that drew swift criticism from the Democratic candidates for mayor who took aim not only at Kelly, but also at each other. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.
In truth, the leading Democratic candidates for mayor have nearly identical views when it comes to reforming stop-and-frisk, views that differ sharply from Ray Kelly’s.
Kelly said the policy has saved thousands of lives over the years, and that without it, violent crime would go up.
"And this case has to be appealed, in my judgement, because it will be taken as a template and have significant impact in policing throughout America," Kelly said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
"Reforming stop-and-frisk, ending unconstitutional stops, putting an inspector general in the police department will not cause crime to rise. There is not a doubt in my mind," said Democratic mayoral candidate Christine Quinn.
Still, Bill de Blasio is using the issue to try to distinguish himself from Quinn, who's said she'd keep Kelly on as commissioner. She also voted against a bill that would expand protections against racial profiling.
"It's just not consistent to say you want to make profound change on this issue, but keep the same commissioner. And after 12 years of agreeing with the mayor almost to a tee, she's suddenly going to break away from it," De Blasio said.
Quinn says while she disagrees with him on stop-and-frisk, Kelly has generally kept the city safe. And she says in a Quinn administration, the commissioner will be carrying out her directives.
"Whether it’s Ray Kelly or someone else, whoever my police commissioner is is going to have to implement stop-and-frisk in the way that I want it implemented. And I believe Ray Kelly would do that," Quinn said.
Bill Thompson, another leading Democratic contender, refrained from attacking his opponents Sunday. But he did issue a strongly worded statement questioning Kelly’s leadership, saying the police commissioner is in denial.
"They can continue to say that they’re right, and the rest of the world is wrong. But still, when I’m mayor, I’m going to eliminate profiling. I’m going to keep New York City safe. And at the same point, and not appeal the decision," Thompson said.
As for speculation he;s a candidate to be the next U.S. Homeland Security secretary, Kelly would not comment Sunday.