Police Commissioner Ray Kelly defended the NYPD’s policing of public housing on Friday following revelations that the Bronx District Attorney won’t prosecute those arrested for trespassing unless the arresting officer submits to an interview.
He also said that contrary to earlier reports, the DA’s policy change had nothing to do with stop and frisk, a controversial NYPD tactic.
Kelly said NYPD internal affairs conducted an internal investigation and found no unlawful arrests.
“All allegations contained in that letter were not substantiated,” Kelly said following a promotions ceremony on Friday.
The letter to which Kelly is referring was sent to the NYPD by District Attorney Bureau Chief Jeannette Rucker in July outlining the change in policy. Kelly said the letter wasn’t addressed to him, and when he called District Attorney Robert Johnson over the summer, the DA did not initially know about the letter.
The DA has not returned request for comment.
Kelly said that 5 percent of city residents live in public housing, but 20 percent of violent crimes occur there.
“We are still committed to doing everything we can to safeguard the residents of public housing. Many of them are at risk,” he said. “There’s a disproportionate amount of crime at these housing developments and we’re doing everything we can to address it.”