Adams’ testimony marked the latest in a series of explosive allegations leveled against the NYPD in an ongoing trial targeting the department’s “stop-and-frisk” policy.
New York State Senator Eric Adams testified in federal court on Monday that NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly admitted not once, but twice on two separate occasions that the “stop-and-frisk” tactic used by the NYPD was intended to “instill fear in young men of color.” According to the Guardian, Senator Eric Adams, who was a police officer for 22 years before becoming an elected official, testified that during a meeting in 2010, Commissioner Kelly,
[S]tated that he targeted and focused on that group because he wanted to instil fear in them that every time that they left their homes they could be targeted by police.
“I was amazed,” Adams testified. “I told him that was illegal.”
“How else would we get rid of guns,” Adams said Kelly asked him.
According to the New York Post, Commissioner Kelly has called the allegations “ludicrous” and “absolutely, categorically untrue.” He told reporters in a statement,
It’s interesting. Apparently, only Mr. Adams heard the statement, although other people were present … It just defies logic. Anybody knowing Mr. Adams’ history with this department and how often he’s criticized it, that I would make that type of statement in front of three elected African-American officials.
Commissioner Kelly has not been called to testify in the class-action lawsuit Floyd v. City of New York, which according to AlterNet, “will ultimately decide whether the city has violated the 4th and 14th amendment rights of New Yorkers by targeting black and Latino youths for suspicionless stops,” but during her cross-examination of Senator Adams, the Post reports that NY City Attorney Heidi Grossman attempted to “read aloud from a written declaration in which Kelly denied Adam’s allegations.” Manhattan Federal Judge Shira Scheindlin however blocked Grossman, stating that it was a “back-door attempt to introduce testimony” from Commissioner Kelly. The judge did invite the Commissioner to take the stand himself saying, “If he’d like to come here, he’s welcome in this courtroom.”
Senator Adams told AlterNet that, “Commissioner Kelly is ‘Out of touch with people in the communities,’ and that ‘Until individuals on Wall Street have to tell stories about their children being stopped [we will not] see a change in this policy.’”
Photo: AP/ File