Ray Kelly calls NYPD airing of film he appeared in 'inappropriate'
Top cop Ray Kelly apologized Wednesday for appearing in a controversial film about Muslim extremism that was shown at police-training seminars.
"I offer my apologies to members of the Muslim community, in particular, who would find the film inflammatory and its airing on department property - though unauthorized - to be inappropriate," Kelly said in a statement.
The 2008 documentary, "The Third Jihad," was shown from October to December 2010 and might have been viewed by more than 1,480 officers, according to documents obtained by the Brennan Center for Justice. The conservative Clarion Fund financed the 72-minute film, which Muslim groups contend distorts their religion and sows distrust against them.
NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said Tuesday that the movie was never shown during the actual training classes but was put on a TV loop in another room.
On Tuesday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said whoever played the video exercised "terrible judgment." The NYPD said the sergeant responsible had been reprimanded.
Some Muslim groups called for Kelly's resignation, questioning what exactly he knew about the movie as well as why it had been allowed to play for months.
"This controversy has moved beyond an issue of poor judgment in the use of an Islamophobic training film to an issue of the integrity of public officials," Cyrus McGoldrick, a spokesman for an Islamic civil-rights group, said in a statement.
Police said last year that the movie was only shown a handful of times - until the public-records request revealed otherwise.