Kelly makes changes to NYPD stop and frisk policy
A day after a judge approved a lawsuit against the NYPD for its stop and frisk practices, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly announced Thursday he will be making immediate changes within the department.
In a letter addressed to City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the city's top cop maintained that the controversial procedure is effective in curbing crime but said he is working to improve it.
On Wednesday, a federal judge granted class action status to a lawsuit filed by four men who accuse the police of stopping and frisking just because they were black.
Police cadets will receive new training that will teach them not to engage in racial profiling and precinct commanders will conduct weekly audits of their squad's stop and frisk reports, according to Kelly.
"I believe these measures will help us closely monitor the daily street encounter activity of precinct personnel," he said in the letter that was written after the judge's decision.
The commissioner added he is developing an internal database that would track officers who receive complaints.
The speaker said the changes are a step in the right direction to improve police relations.
"The NYPD, the Mayor, and the City Council have more work to do to ensure that all stop and frisks are appropriate," she said in a statement Thursday.
Not all of the NYPD's critics were happy with Kelly's response.
The head of the NYCLU, which estimates that the NYPD has stopped and frisked more than 200,000 people in the first three months of this year, regarded the commissioner's letter as a PR stunt and called for and end to the practice.
"The mayor and commissioner need to give up the spin and recognize that the NYPD's stop-and-frisk program is fundamentally broken," NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman said in a statement.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasioagreed and has proposed a legislation that would create additional stop and frisk reforms.