Police Commissioner Ray Kelly defended the stop-and-frisk tactics of the NYPD this morning amid an ongoing lawsuit over the practice.
Kelly spoke at the convention of the National Action Network, where he highlighted predominantly minority neighborhoods that are more likely to experience crime.
For example, people in Brownsville are 30 times more likely to be murdered than people in Murray Hill, which is overwhelmingly white, Kelly said.
In Bedford Stuyvesant, the murder rate is 23 people per 100,000, compared with 0.8 in Bay Ridge, he added.
He noted that black New Yorkers make up a quarter of the population but 64 percent of murder victims.
“We cannot stand idly by in the face of these facts,” Kelly said.
The commissioner specifically defended the stop-and-frisk program, saying it was important to get illegal weapons like knives and guns off the streets.
“I believe this tactic is life saving,” he said. “It is also lawful and constitutional.”
Officers and people who have been stopped have testified during the weeks-long trial about stop-and-frisk.