Ray Kelly announces a measured reevaluation of stop-and-frisk

Ray Kelly at City Hall. (Azi Paybarah )
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After a harsh rebuke from a federal judge who green-lit a class-action lawsuit against the New York Police Department over its stop-and-frisk tactics, police commissioner Ray Kelly said the program was being reevaluated, with more internal oversight and training.

Among other things, the department is proceeding with a previously announced plan to create "informational cards" detailing "the legal authority for such stops," which police officers are encouraged to give to people who are stopped. The department also began filming a new training video today, according to a letter Kelly sent to City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, whose aides distributed the letter to reporters while Kelly spoke at a City Council budget hearing.

And he said there wil be an internal audit of stop-and-frisk "at the local command level," which will be conducted "on an ongoing basis." 

Kelly also said his department will seek federal funds to boost community outreach in high-crime areas. The program, as Kelly described it, is based on one in Chicago which focuses "on the typically small group of people within a community or neighborhood who are responsible for the majority of violent crime."

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Kelly, in his prepared comments, said the program will provide those targeted individuals "with guidance and social services."

That's more or less the strategy promoted by Manhattan Borough President and mayoral candidate Scott Stringer in a column he wrote recently in The Nation.

Quinn, the Council Speaker, said in a statement that the changes anounced by Kelly were "an important step forward, however, more must be done to significantly reduce the number of stops."

CORRECTION: This version of the article has been changed to reflect the fact that the plan to create and distribute "informational cards" was previously announced.