Brooklyn, NY- On July 12th, New York Senator Chuck Schumer recommended New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly to replace outgoing Secretary of Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. I would oppose Commissioner Kelly's nomination, and I am asking Senator Schumer to withdraw his recommendation because during his tenure as police commissioner, Ray Kelly has implemented the largest systematic program of racial and religious profiling in the nation.
“New York City Police Department Commissioner Ray Kelly’s discriminatory policies targeting Blacks and Latinos through Stop and Frisk and Muslim Americans in New York and beyond his jurisdiction, make him unqualified to run such a critical department which includes; the Citizenship and Immigration Service, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Customs and Border Patrol,” said Senator Parker.
In his letter to Senator Schumer, Senator Parker writes, “For the past decade, communities of color in New York City have been ravaged by their police department; by a police department that treats certain people as a permanent class of criminals. Being a young Black or Latino male does not make one a criminal, and being Muslim does not make one a terrorist. However, for more than a decade, that is how these communities have been treated by the New York City Police Department.”
Adding insult to injury, these discriminatory policies have not made us safer. Guns are recovered in less than one sixth of one percent of stops. This is a lower seizure rate than at random checkpoints. In addition, the crime rate in other major metropolitan areas experienced similar decline without stop and frisk. Similarly, according to recent court documents, the surveillance of Muslims has not yielded any leads, let alone any prosecutions. Furthermore, the NYPD overstates not only its counter-terrorism record but also their role if any in stopping credible plots. According to press reports, out of the 14 plots claimed by Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly, it appears only two plots were stopped by the NYPD.
“Our nation deserves a Homeland Security Secretary that will protect our people but also ensure that their Constitutional rights will not be violated. If past is prologue, Ray Kelly has not demonstrated this understanding,” concluded Parker.
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About Senator Kevin Parker
Senator Kevin S. Parker is intimately familiar with the needs of his ethnically diverse Brooklyn community that consists of 318,000 constituents in Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Ditmas Park, Kensington, Windsor Terrace, and Park Slope. He is the Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee as well as the Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, Assistant Democratic Leader for Intergovernmental Affairs, and Chair of the Democratic Task Force on New Americans.