Outgoing New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly insisted Monday that controversial stop-and-frisk policies "can never be eliminated" as a crime-fighting measure, despite Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio's questioning of the program.
"It will not be eliminated, I can assure you. So, it's going to be a practice that will continue. We'll see what sort of changes or amendments can be done to it," Kelly said Monday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
Kelly called the policy an important tool "police officers have to have in their tool kit," despite U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin's ruling in August limiting the policy's implementation out of concern that it is being used as an indirect form of racial profiling.
The ruling has since been put on hold, pending an appeal. Kelly said de Blasio would make the decision on whether the appeal would continue.
"I think it's fair to say that a lot of things are unknown about the mayor-elect. So, we'll find out," Kelly said.
Kelly attributed the dramatic drop in the murder rate in New York City to diligent work by the police department. The rate for 2013 is well below 400, currently standing at 329.
"Last year was a record low year for murders. This year we're 20 percent below that," Kelly said.
Kelly called his soon-to-be replacement, Bill Bratton, "probably the most experienced police executive in America," and said the department would be "in good hands." Bratton was New York police commissioner for two years in the 1990s, and then spent time as head of the police departments in Los Angeles and Boston.
As for Kelly's future once Bratton takes over in January, the commissioner said he plans to hold a distinguished fellow position at the Council on Foreign Relations.
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