Conservative rocker and Second Amendment advocate Ted Nugent tells Newsmax TV that he does not support so-called stop-and-frisk tactics by police, but that he believes New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and his 36,000 officers do not routinely step on the constitutional rights of minorities.
"As I sit here with you today, I am convinced that the concept of stop-and-frisk violates the Fourth Amendment," Nugent said in an exclusive interview with Newsmax before taking the stage at the packed House of Blues in Orlando. "But I don't agree with the judge in New York — that gal that presumed the cops are stopping someone based on the color of their skin.
"That is wrong. They do not profile based on color of skin. They profile on suspicious behavior. It's a behavioral response, not an ethnic or skin-color response. I am certain of that."
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Nugent was referring to federal Judge Shira Scheindlin's ruling last week that the nation’s largest municipal police force employed a "policy of indirect racial profiling" while increasing the number of stops in minority communities.
The judge held that the strategy led to officers routinely stopping "blacks and Hispanics who would not have been stopped if they were white."
In a wide-ranging interview with Newsmax, the platinum-selling artist and New York Times best-selling author also discussed the surge in gun permits in Newtown, Conn., and commented on the possibility that he might tone down his political rhetoric in 2016, it having won him contact from the U.S. Secret Service in the past.
Nugent, 64, who is on the board of directors of the National Rifle Association, disagrees that the NYPD uses racial profiling in policing high-crime neighborhoods.
"Everybody knows that if you're in Haiti and you're stopping Haitians, you're not targeting Haitians. That's where you are," he said. "When you're in the belly of the criminal beast, as they are in those regions that Commissioner Kelly and the NYPD have put their forces — where there are the most rabid dogs, you send in the rabid dog hunters. That's what they've done, and the results are good."
Kelly is favored by New York politicians to head the nation's Department of Homeland Security. He insists the stop-and-frisk tactic has reduced the number of murders: Compare 13,212 total murders in the 11 years before Mayor Michael Bloomberg took office to 5,849 total murders in the 11½ years
as of July since Bloomberg took office.
Nugent described Kelly as a "warrior of law enforcement" who "deeply cares, and he may be one of the top masters that understands law and order and the causation of criminology and causation of criminality."
In an op-ed piece earlier this year, Nugent’s brother Jeffery advocated universal background checks for all gun purchases, a position contrary to Ted's.
Nugent wrote a rebuttal for Newsmax titled "My Dear Misinformed Brother." He insists he is still close to his sibling although the two continue to disagree on the issue.
"Not one mass murder would have been deterred or stopped by any increase in background checks. Not a one," Nugent said. "You want to save lives? The facts are inescapable if you have a brain and a conscience. Stop with the parole orgy.
"Quit letting murderers and rapists and stabbers and carjackers and shooters out of their cage because they're committing 95-plus percent of the violent crimes," he said. "We know who they are. We have their fingerprints. We've had them in cages, and some numbnut in a black robe lets them out to do it again."
He also said he isn't surprised that the number of new gun permits in Newtown, Conn., is on track to double this year considering the massacre that ended the lives of 20 children and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012.
"I understand what intelligent, educated, caring people think because I think the same way as they do. We want our neighborhoods safe," he explained. "When people see dangerous conditions and unarmed, helpless victims slaughtered like sheep, caring intelligent people who pay attention will do the right thing and make sure they are not unarmed and helpless. So it makes perfect sense to me."
But he said the Zimmerman case, which was decided not far from Orlando, could threaten Stand Your Ground laws in states such as Florida.
"The mindless squawking and unfounded accusations that went nuts since the Zimmerman racist propaganda-inspired court case went on would be laughable if there weren't so many of them," he said. "America and our quality of life are in jeopardy because liars and those supporting the dope-smoking gangster attackers like Trayvon Martin are out there. They actually side with the attacker."
Asked whether he planned to tone down his political rhetoric in 2016, Nugent responded tongue-in-cheek, "Yeah, and I'm going to be a gay pirate this Halloween, too. And I'm the tooth fairy, by the way."
He said the opposite might be true.
"No, in fact, the more the punks in government give me a hard time, the more 'we the people' I'm going to be," he said. "The more they try to censor me and try to put me in line — because the IRS scandal isn't even the tip of the iceberg, it's a ripple under the Titanic. ..."
Nugent acknowledged he would have preferred to support Texas Gov. Rick Perry in the 2012 presidential election over GOP nominee Mitt Romney, but he had to be pragmatic about Perry's chances.
"Had Rick Perry performed in his debates the way he performs in Texas and in conversations and in speeches I see him make at schools and public events, he would've been the best president of all of those in the running," he observed. "But being that he ran into some complications during the debates, I was convinced that Mitt Romney would have brought accountability back, would have brought real transparency so we the people could actually get answers to our questions."
Nugent, who was born in Detroit, now lives in Texas with his second wife Shemane.
Asked which Republicans could potentially take on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should she become the Democratic presidential nominee in 2016, Nugent said he "deeply respects" Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, while he also thinks highly of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
While he described Christie as a "good man" and sometimes "a great man," Nugent said the Garden State governor is "not exactly" his type of Republican, perhaps echoing long-standing questions about Christie’s record with respect to Second Amendment issues by NRA leaders.
"There's some great men and women out there on the Republican side that if they would just let it rip — do not attempt to placate the enemy, articulate that we can't out-bribe the Democrats and we can't out-lie the Democrats, so quit trying," he said.
"The liberal Democrats will do to America what the liberal Democrats did to the once-phenomenal city of Detroit. They're doing it to California. They're doing it to Philadelphia. They've done it to Camden,” he added. "They're doing it wherever they get their slimy, Joseph Goebbels-propaganda-ministry mitts on the throat of otherwise great Americans."
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