Facts! They’re so fun! They remove those nasty bouts of ignorance. Well, not for Ray Kelly. According to him, the general public has been victimized by ‘misinformation,’ and he’s here to set the record straight, except, well, we have some issues with his evidence.
Kelly sat down with folks at the Queens Chronicle this week and talked policy and politics. When questioned about some of the issues we care about here – stop-and-frisk, surveillance, racism, and the occupy raid, he responded with some interesting stuff. Let’s set the record straight.
Ray Kelly: “We’re saving lives. Mostly young men of color,” Kelly reasoned.
“I think stop and question and sometimes frisk – which is less than 50 percent of the time – is a significant factor in this regard.”
Kelly went on to compare the murder rates in the city – from 11,028 in the decade before Bloomberg to 5,430 murders in the decade after Bloomberg – as a justification for this racist practice.
Facts: Murder rates have dropped nationally in the past twenty years. It’s not just New York City, and it’s not because of stop-and-frisk. Poignantly, murders by guns haven’t changed since stop-and-frisk escalated. There were 1,821 in 2002 and 1,892 in 2011, yet stop-and-frisk increased exponentially.
ARRESTING JOURNALISTS AT LIBERTY PLAZA?
Ray Kelly: According to the article, “Officers did not wantonly manhandle journalists as they emptied Zuccotti Park in Manhattan of the Occupy Wall Street protesters last November.”
Paul Browne, who should know a lot about misinformation, was with Kelly in Queens. According to the Queens Chronicle, Browne added his take on issue of arresting journalists:
“only one journalist was arrested during the operation, despite stories to the contrary, which he called ‘a total myth.’ Occupy Wall Street protesters were forging press credentials in an effort to get through the police lines, he added, but that doesn’t mean actual reporters were arrested.”
Facts: That the NYPD gets to define who constitutes a journalist seems rather odd to us. But still! The Committee to Protect Journalists reports that at least seven journalists were arrested when Liberty Square was violently raided, including reporters from the New York Daily News, AP, and DNAinfo. Multiple journalists held NYPD press passes.
Again, NYPD has the gate and the keys when it comes to press passes. It took Gothamist eight years and thousands of dollars to finally get theirs. Press passes are notoriously difficult, if not impossible, to obtain, and the NYPD has shown great disdain for internet-based news sites. But I guess it doesn’t even matter if they’ll still arrest you?
Ray Kelly: “Terrorism is theater, and New York is the biggest stage.”
Facts: The NYPD has exceeded it’s boundaries, chasing and surveilling citizens (who happen to be Muslim) in New Jersey. He also equates terrorists with Muslims, which is just really fucked up.
This concludes our round of fact checking with Ray Kelly! Next round is, uh, whenever he opens his mouth.