The Best Quotes From Ray Kelly's Interview With The Wall Street Journal

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It's been a rough couple of weeks for the head of the Boys in Blue.

The NYPD's stop-and-frisk policy finds itself in a serious constitutional dilemma in a downtown court, bringing light to the shadowy legacy of the practice. The Community Safety Act, which would establish an inspector general for the force, has come under fire from the city's greatest political players after receiving an endorsement from Christine Quinn. And even the fact that the agency needs an inspector general says enough about Ray Kelly and his department right now.

Well, in response to all of this, Kelly sat down with the Wall Street Journal to give his take on--everything. A few snippets from this thing need to be brought to everyone's attention.

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Somebody Already Sued the NYPD Over Controversial Body Scanners

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NYPD via TSA Out of Our Pants
See that black thing? It's a gun.

During his 'State of the NYPD' address on Wednesday, NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly announced that his department "took delivery" of mobile terhertz devices that can scan people for concealed weapons. Although Kelly carefully skirted the issue of stop-and-frisk, he went into detail about his latest equipment, explaining that the scanners would be portable and mounted inside trucks.

Well, somebody is already suing the city over the new technology. His name is Jonathan Corbett, an activist who has previously taken on the TSA over their body scanners, which render nearly-nude images of passengers' bodies. On his blog, TSA Out of Our Pants, he calls our police force's latest toy a "virtual stop-and-frisk" and says he objects to the NYPD using it to "peer under your clothes for 'anything dangerous' -- guns, bombs, the Constitution -- from up to 25 yards away for, you know, our safety."


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Ray Kelly Sounds Off On Low Crime Without Mentioning 'Stop & Frisk' Once

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Word of life advice: if you ignore something, that doesn't mean it will go away.

Yesterday morning, NYPD commish Ray Kelly delivered his 'State of the NYPD' address at the Waldorf Astoria. The police chief, riding high off a recent poll that showed his approval ratings at the highest ever for someone in his position, basically detailed the progress report of the Bloomberg administration.

Combined with record low homicide rate (which may be on the rise this year) and a general decline amongst most other crimes (save for iPhone theft), the commish laid out an overall safer City in 2012, one which will "go down in history as the year New York City recorded the fewest homicides since Senator John F. Kennedy announced his run for the presidency in 1960."

The recovery efforts made by the law enforcement authorities during Hurricane Sandy were set in the background as well.

However, possibly due to recent constitutionality issues, the head of the Boys in Blue failed to mention what will inevitably go down in the history books for his time in office: the controversial use of the practice known as 'stop & frisk.' That isn't to say Kelly avoided it all together; instead, he called it aggressive policing in 'minority neighborhoods,' which adds a nice touch to a not-so-nice practice.

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A Few Questions Raised Over NYPD Commish Ray Kelly's Popularity

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And, for that matter, the most popular NYPD commissioner in the City's history (since we started recording this kind of stuff, of course).
 

In yet another Quinnipiac poll, Mr. Kelly's job as top cop was applauded by 75 percent of New Yorkers. These numbers split a bit by ethnicity: whites have his back with 81 percent; Hispanics, 76 percent; and African-Americans, 63 percent. And, overall, his Boys in Blue have a solid 70 percent approval rating.

Now, this comfortable success can be traced to a few things. For one, crime is at an all-time low, even if it's experiencing a bump up right now. Second, along with Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Cuomo's performances, the NYPD's efforts during Hurricane Sandy were highly acclaimed by New Yorkers. And, third, according to the poll release, the Newtown massacre's aftershock might have something to do with it.

But, at the same time, these numbers parallel a few other things that are not so popular about the instructors of law and order.


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Ray Kelly Calls for Grand Jury Probe of NYPD Shooting of Unarmed National Guardsman

Categories: NYPD, Ray Kelly
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Noel Polanco, 22, was fatally shot by an NYPD detective during a traffic stop last week. Polanco was unarmed at the time.
NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly today called for a grand jury investigation into last week's shooting of unarmed National Guardsman Noel Polanco by an NYPD detective.

Kelly says there are still a lot of questions surrounding the seemingly unwarranted shooting, described by one witness as an act of "police road rage."

"It will require what I believe to be a grand jury investigation to determine precisely what happened there," Kelly told reporters this morning.

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More Mayoral Hopefuls Weigh in on the Ray Kelly Rumors: He Has a Great Record!

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Sam Levin
City Comptroller John Liu in Staten Island today.
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer said today that if the Ray Kelly running for mayor rumors turn out to be true, the dynamics of the mayoral race would certainly change. And some candidates gearing up for their campaigns are probably afraid of that, Stringer, an expected contender himself, told the Voice today.

In 2013 election news this week, rumors surfaced that Police Commissioner Ray Kelly might be interested in running for mayor to replace Mike Bloomberg. Regardless of whether he's actually considering it, some noteworthy Republican pols and other rich people are encouraging Kelly to throw his name into the mix.

If Kelly were to run as a Republican (and that's a big, big if), it would certainly change the dynamics of the 2013 mayoral race, which thus far is shaping up to be one that would be decided in the Democratic primary.

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Mike Bloomberg's The Latest Politico to Dodge Questions About Ray Kelly Running For Mayor

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Sam Levin
Mayor Mike Bloomberg at press conference this afternoon.
Mayor Mike Bloomberg is a big, big fan of Ray Kelly, but that doesn't mean he's going to publicly say that the city's police commissioner should step it up and run for mayor in 2013.

It's not that Bloomberg doesn't like him -- it's just, you know, a hypothetical situation. And Bloomberg's never talked to Kelly about it, the mayor said today.

"Let me say the same thing about Ray Kelly that I've been saying every time I get the question: nothing's different," said a slightly irritated Bloomberg after a reporter asked him this afternoon about rumors that a top state Republican is courting the police commissioner to run for mayor and that Kelly is in fact open to the idea. "I recruited the right guy. He had the experience with the NYPD...He's worked his way up from the bottom to the top in the Police Department...He's a great manager."

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Mayoral Hopefuls on Possible Mayoral Bid of Ray Kelly: He's a Good Police Commissioner

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Police Commissioner Ray Kelly
Asked today about rumors that Police Commissioner Ray Kelly might be interested in running for mayor in 2013, several mayoral hopefuls chimed in -- but would only say that he's good at his current job.

The New York Post reported today that a top state Republican is pushing Kelly to run for mayor and that the police commissioner is open to the idea. The head of the New York Police Department -- who has been criticized for his stop-and-frisk policies and for the department's surveillance of Muslims -- has said that he's flattered that folks are interested in having him run for mayor, but that he doesn't plan on it.

Today, Kelly said he's focused on his current job.

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Richard Breunich, JP Morgan Executive, Has Carte Blanche At NYPD Headquarters

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A top executive at the investment bank JP Morgan Chase has special access to police headquarters, the Voice has learned. The mystery is why.

Most of us regular folks have to go through a ridiculous security screening process just to get into 1 Police Plaza (a public building, by the way), including showing ID and being vetted first at the blockhouse outside, and then again inside, submitting to two metal detector sweeps, and justifying one's presence.

But sources tell the Voice that Richard Breunich, a managing director with the bank who splits his time between the city and Punta Gorda, Fla., has "special entry status" at police headquarters. His picture was posted recently with that label in the headquarters security office.

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Brad Lander, Jumaane Williams to Ray Kelly: NYPD Must Have Oversight

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Lander
Councilmembers Brad Lander and Jumaane Williams want answers.

At a City Council budget oversight hearing today, they grilled NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly about how the department spends money -- specifically when it comes to surveillance and terrorism. But Kelly couldn't really say.

Lander and Williams, along with other council members, want to know exactly what happens to the cops' cash. And they think the best way to oversee the department is by creating an inspector general's office.

"Commissioner Kelly asks us to trust him that NYPD officers are following the law, but he either could not or would not tell us what the NYPD is spending our money on," he said post-hearing.

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