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updated 7/17/2013 10:46:11 PM ET 2013-07-18T02:46:11

Blasting Kelly's record on stop-and-frisk, and surveillance of Muslims

On Tuesday, President Obama said in a Univision affiliate interview that he finds New York’s police commissioner Ray Kelly to be “well qualified” for the soon-to-be vacated position of Homeland Security chief currently held by Janet Napolitano.

“Ray Kelly’s obviously done an extraordinary job in New York,” said the president, praising Kelly for his competence in dealing with terrorism. But under Kelly’s most recent tenure as police commissioner there have been 5 million stop-and-frisks. Kelly also presided over the Police Department when it spied on Muslim communities.

New York Congressman Hakeem Jeffries blasted Kelly for overseeing these practices on Wednesday’s All In with Chris Hayes:

“Ray Kelly is an experienced law enforcement professional and has been a good administrator. And perhaps I could even support his potential appointment to this position in the absence of the massive stop-and-frisk program that he’s run and the unconstitutional Muslim surveillance program. But that’s kind of like saying ‘I had a good year if you don’t count the winter, the spring and the fall.’”

In considering Kelly to head up the Department of Homeland Security, is it okay to ignore parts of his record? Jeffries thinks not: “We can’t divorce his tenure as police commissioner, without looking at the fact that he has presided over the most significant organized form of racial profiling that exists in the country.”

While Jeffries credited the commissioner with reducing crime in the city, he remained incensed by Kelly’s defense of the controversial stop-and-frisk program: “Stop-and-frisk of course has nothing to do with the fact that crime is down in New York City.” He said, “There is a 90% error rate in the stop-and-frisk program. No corporation in America would tolerate such an error rate!”

Video: NY Congressman: Ray Kelly should not be Homeland Security chief

  1. Closed captioning of: NY Congressman: Ray Kelly should not be Homeland Security chief

    >>> ray kelly 's done an extraordinary job in new york , and the federal government partners a lot with new york because obviously our concerns about terrorism often times are focused on big city targets. and i think ray kelly 's one of the best there is.

    >> that was president obama discussing new york city police commissioner ray kelly as the potential new head of the department of homeland security . it was announced last week janet in a politan know will depart in september. since then, a number of top politicos including chuck schumer and peter king have pushed aggressively for ray kelly to be named as a replacement, it's hard to think of a worse choice for this job or a more off message political signal for the president to send to supporters during this of all weeks. just yesterday attorney general eric holder told the crowd at the naacp convention about being racially profiled while running to catch a movie despite doing nothing wrong. that's quite the contrast with new york city 's top cop. the data, the new nypd stop and frisk program speaks for itself, last year there were nearly 533,000 stops on the program. 97% of those stopped 90% were nonwhite. only 6% of stops resulted in arre arrests. that is just the tip of the iceberg . ray kelly is someone who called out the bush administration for not conducting enough warrantless wiretaps. spied on protester at the republican national convention , allowed the cia to embed -- and oversaw a sprawling creepy spying program -- it's impossible to imagine a candidate who would send a worse message about the president's values than ray kelly . joining me now is hakeem jeffries , democrat from new york . he helped pass a law that prohibits the new york city police department from maintaining a database on personal information for people who were stopped and frisked but not charged with a violation or crime. my question is, do you think ray kelly 's record in new york city particularly as it pertains to stop and frisk makes him a poor choice to head up the dhs?

    >> well, listen chris. ray kelly is an experienced law enforcement professional. he's been a good administrator and perhaps i could support his potential appointment to this position in the absence of the massive aggressive stop and frisk program that he's run, and the unconstitutional muslim surveillance program. that's kind of like saying, i had a good year, if you don't count the winter, spring and fall. we can't divorce his tenure as police commissioner without looking at that he's oversaw the racial profiling each and every year. the majority of folks you just pointed out have done nothing wrong and happen to be black and latino. besides that, stop and frisk program that continues to be in effect today although we're hopeful that a court will soon find it unconstitutional, as you also mentioned, chris, ray kelly until 2010 presided over a massive electronic database that contained we believe more than a million names of innocent law abiding individuals who were stopped, questioned and frisked but let go because they've done nothing wrong. none the less, ray kelly decided it made sense to take their names and personal information and subject them to the possibility of permanent criminal surveillance.

    >> we reached out to ray kelly , asked them to come on. his defenders will say, pointing at all this, the record speaks for itself. crime is down in new york city . much of that has to do with ray kelly and his brass tacks.

    >> crime is down in new york city . crime has been on the decline for the last 20 years, beginning interestingly enough during the last two years when ray kelly was police commissioner who at that time embraced community policing and began this dramatic decline in crime opinion there's a 90% error rate in the stop and frisk program. no corporation in america would tolerate such an error rate. you can't argue based on the numbers that it has an effect on the decrease in crime in new york city . and so i don't think there's any factually based argument or any case to make. he should get credit as the mayor should for the continued decline in crime, but these violations of civil rights and civil liberties that he's presided over, both as it relates to the muslim surveillance program and the stop and frisk program cannot be excused.

    >> a few details about that surveillance program of area muslims, in one report an undercovered officer describes accompanying 18 muslim students on a whitewater rafting trip in upstate new york in 2008 . names of attendees who were officers of the muslim association unit. these are completely nonviolent muslim students who have an undercover officer with them on their camping trip . this is something ray kelly sanctioned at a time they're wobderring about the levels of the national government .

    >> it's precisely the wrong message. earlier today there was unanimous or at least significant bipartisan support and concern for the notion we've seen at the federal level with response to this massive collection of phone records on tens of millions of americans. there's got to be an effective balance between national security or effective law enforcement on the one hand and a healthy respect for our civil liberties on the other. ray kelly under michael bloomberg has disrespected that balance and that's why i think he would be a poor choice for secretary of homeland security .

    >>> here's a fun fact the the state fish of wyoming is called the cutthroat trout ? what does that have to do with liz cheney ? i

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