6:37 pm Mar. 8, 2012
Malcolm Gladwell once asked New York Police Department commissioner Ray Kelly about fighting terrorism. Kelly, a former Marine and beat cop, was characteristically blunt.
"You think that terrorists aren't aware of how easy it is to be characterized by ethnicity?" Kelly said. “Look at the 9/11 hijackers. They came here. They shaved. They went to topless bars. They wanted to blend in. They wanted to look like they were part of the American dream. These are not dumb people."
Kelly went on to say, "Could a terrorist dress up as a Hasidic Jew and walk into the subway, and not be profiled? Yes. I think profiling is just nuts.”
Speaking at Fordham Law School this weekend, Kelly addressed some recent criticism about the practices of the department's Demographics Unit, which as the Associated Press has revealed, has focused its surveillance actives on Muslim groups.
The department didn't set out to focus on any particular ethnic or religious group, Kelly said: "Undercover investigations begin with leads, and we go where the leads take us."
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A judge said the city may have to pay $128 million for unfair hiring practices that could have denied 300 blacks jobs in the department between 1999 and 2002. [John Marzulli and Tracy Connor]
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Inspired by The Artist. [YourFDNY]
The visuals aids of City Hall. [Kristen Artz]
Lancman and Moya help announce Immigrant Workers' Rights Awareness Week. [Assemblyman Rory Lancman]