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NYPD Can Take Down Small Planes: Kelly

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly (Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly clarified a statement he made that the NYPD could shoot down a plane, adding the department only had the ability to shoot down small planes, like crop dusters.

Kelly told the television news show "60 Minutes" Sunday that the NYPD had a weapon that could blow a plane out of the sky. It was later identified as a .50-caliber gun that could be affixed to a police helicopter.

At a news conference on Wednesday, Kelly was asked whether that weapon could take down a commercial aircraft. "No. And I can't envision a circumstance where that could happen. A 50-caliber weapon is a powerful weapon but I don't see that as a possibility."

Kelly said the weapon could have been useful if Al-Qaida had gone through with its threat of spreading toxic materials from farming planes.

He added that he would make the decision to use that weapon only in extreme circumstances and after consulting with the mayor and federal authorities.

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