NYPD Commissioner Defends ‘Stop-And-Frisk’ Against Critics: ‘African Americans Are Being Understopped’

Recently, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg fired back at The New York Times, which criticized him for embracing the city’s “stop-and-frisk” law enforcement policy. Critics say it unfairly targets minorities, a point Bloomberg refuted. New York Police Department Commissioner Ray Kelly also defended the policy on Wednesday night’s Nightline, arguing African Americans are “understopped.”

Nightline noted that 84 percent of those stopped are “young men of color.” Bloomberg, however, argued that the number of black and Latino men stopped should be compared to the descriptions of suspects — not to the number of black and Latino men in the population.

“About 70 to 75 percent of the people described as committing violent crimes — assault, robbery, shootings, grand larceny — are described as being African-American,” Kelly said. “The percentage of people who are stopped is 53 percent African-American. So really, African Americans are being understopped in relation to the percentage of people being described as being the perpetrators of violent crime,” Kelly argued. The “reality is that crime happens in communities of color. They are being disproportionately victimized.”

Capital New York noted Kelly’s previous comments on the policy:

A year ago, Kelly went even further, telling reporters people in “communities of color” actually “want more” stop-and-frisks.

Watch the ABC report below:

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