As the case challenging the NYPD's controversial stop-and-frisk procedures enters its third week, State Sen. Eric Adams testified that he heard NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly make comments about intimidating minorities.
"I heard him on two different occasions indicate that we're using this policy to instill fear into African-American and Hispanic youth, so each time they leave their home, they feel as though they can be stopped by the police," said Adams, according to NY1.
Kelly has denied Adams' claims, saying, "I think this was an attempt to get me to testify. Make an outrageous statement that I would have to get to court to defend. Well, I'm defending it now."
Adams, a 22 year veteran of the NYPD, says he favors stop and frisk but only when used properly.
Floyd v. the City of New York seeks reforms to stop and frisk.
Under Kelly and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg the NYPD has stopped an estimated 4.4 million people, most of whom have been in the demographic Kelly allegedly described to Adams. The policy allows officers to stop pedestrians on the street if they perceive that person is on the way to committing a crime, is in the process of committing a crime, or leaving the scene of a crime. Roughly 94 percent of the stops result in no charges.
The program has come under attack in recent months as civil rights lawyers try to prove stop and frisk is a violation of the 4th and 14th amendments. Adams’ testimony comes after previous witnesses told the court that NYPD officers have acted with impunity since the program began in 2002.
Adams said stop and frisk is a “great tool” to stopping crime but mentioned that “nowhere” does it empower the NYPD to “use the tool to instill fear. Nowhere.”
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(Photos from left: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images, Spencer Platt/Getty Images)