Police Commissioner Ray Kelly: I Won't Step Down Over Anti-Muslim Film

Friday, January 27, 2012

Police commissioner Ray Kelly said Friday he has no plans to resign following calls for him to step down after it was revealed that nearly 1,500 officers were shown an anti-Muslim film in which the city’s top cop appears as an interviewee.

Kelly said he saw the controversial film "The Third Jihad" for the first time on Tuesday and found it “inflammatory” and “a little much.” He noted that his appearance was no more than 20 seconds in the film and that others, such as former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, also sat for the film.

The screening of the film was the work of a “well meaning” sergeant, he said, who played the film on a loop in an area where officers “could take a break.” It was no approved for training, and the sergent was not a member of the counterterrorism division.

Kelly began his remarks Friday commending the NYPD’s relationship with the city’s Muslim community, saying the department interacts with the community “very well.”

Kelly said there are no plans to retrain the officers who might have viewed the film.  The officials who responded to the FOIL request could not confirm whether each of those thousand or so officers actually saw the film.

When the request to interview came from the film producers, Kelly said he was impressed with the credentials of the producer and that "it was a normal request you get on this job," but he didn't clearly answer whether he felt misled by the producers.  

The makers of the film, Clarion Fund, claimed the Muslim community was unfairly targeting Kelly because of his “aggressive” counter-terror strategies, which includes surveillance of Muslim communities.

"When we called up Ray Kelly, we didn’t anticipate this situation four years later," said spokesman Alex Traiman. "You know, we just thought ‘Here’s the head of one of America’s most forward-thinking counter-terror organizations in the world. Wouldn’t it be great if he’ll be in our film?’ And we were fortunate that he said, 'Yeah.'”

Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American Islamic Relations, said that blaming the Muslim community for the controversy was "utter nonsense." He noted that the organization brought its concerns about the film to the NYPD a year ago, and it's taken that long for the details to come out. "It's never the crime, it's the cover up," he said.

NYPD spokesman Paul Browne, who previously said clips of Kelly in the film were cobbled together from interview online, now says he was approached by the film’s director in 2007, and that he recommended Kelly be interviewed.

"I agreed, and regret that considering I thought that somebody with those credentials would have produced a more objective production and that turned out not to be the case," Paul Browne, deputy commissioner for the NYPD, told WNYC's The Takeaway on Wednesday.

The film shows TV images of Hezbollah rocket attacks, children being held hostage by Muslim militants and a woman it says was arrested in Iran for wearing immodest clothing.

NYPD Letter 7 March 2011 (Received After March 10, 2011)


More in:

Comments [11]

Matthew Swaye from NYC

Ray Kelly's high quotas have turned our communities into open air prisons. Stop&Frisk is the New Jim Crow. Black and Brown NYCers do not have 1st and 4th Amendment rights under oink Bloomberg. RESIST

Elders Arrested By NYPD in Harlem Jan. 5, 2012

Ray Kelly is a warmonger and a businessman.

Jan. 29 2012 08:12 PM

Good for Kelly.
The heck with you knee-jerk PC people.

Jan. 29 2012 01:41 PM
norman from nyc

extremists abound on all sides, in every camp: zionist, christian, anarcho-communist, gay, secular, nationalist, libertarian, pro-life... you name it. were the filmmakers sincere about their interest in pillorying extremists, they would do so across the board.

no one calls for war on american neo-cons because one of them shoots a senator and several supporters. no one attacks soldiers of fortune because a score of blackwater employees are caught murdering and raping civilians. enlisted troops found out as torturers and abusers of "enemy pow's" are not deemed representative of all service men and women; they are merely "individuals," exceptions, loose canons, and so forth.

that most muslims are peaceful members of the human race is overshadowed by a minority of violent punks and the venality of journalists and politicians who effectively act as terrorists on our imaginations. 1500 cops watched this insensitive propaganda at a time when stats show that same force performs regular "stop and frisk" tactics against people of color. while white kids use the city to nightly consume large quantities of drugs and booze, they escape systemic harassment from the uniformed thugs in blue dba nypd.

let's face it, the majority (white) population can ignore this fact: cops are fascist goons, plain and simple. sad, but business as usual. ousting kelly will not change the pigheaded mindset motivating this state-sanctioned gang of armed miscreants to badger and bully those groups found extremist and undesirable. until citizens unite to enact (not demand) a true democracy of lottery-chosen representatives, obedience to the oligarchs and their paid stooges is all we have to offer.

Jan. 28 2012 07:49 PM

Ray Kelly's mistake is that he is well-versed in the protocols of political correctness. The narrator of "The 3rd Jihad," who was interviewed by Leonard Lopate several hours ago, has said that the film is not anti-Moslem but anti-extremist. Radicalization of the Islamic community is not only a problem for Moslem-Americans but all Americans. Many of Kelly's critics are in denial, and sometimes self-denial.

Jan. 27 2012 03:35 PM
fuva from Harlemworld

The fix is in.

NONE of the coverage I've seen, including WNYC newscasts, are highlighting the bottom line here: Paul Browne is a lying liar, who has been caught in two huge lies about very sensitive national security issues.

He has NO credibility, and must be removed.

Jan. 27 2012 12:03 PM

It turns out that Apple product have the every mark of violation of the standards on working conditions, championed in western society by half a century struggle of workers.
If these standards had been applied to the Chinese working force, there would be no incentive to move and outsource the work that was invented in US.

Jan. 27 2012 11:34 AM
roy henderson from Tennessee

I love is the NYPD I cannot stand! Thank you, Mayor Bloomberg.

Jan. 27 2012 11:32 AM

> Dated March 7, 2011

So why is this story coming out now? And why did the sexual assault victim of his son wait 3 months until right now to come forward? Seems like somebody wants Kelly out. Not that I feel bad for him, the NYPD were obnoxious and aggressive towards OWS, still it's hard not to see this "perfect storm" of scandal as a political take-down coming from on high.

Jan. 27 2012 11:06 AM
Merri from Huntington, NY

our son graduated with a BS in Exercise Science and Sports Medicine. He completed his final internship in Washington D.C.. He had a year lease on an apt and stayed. He was offered jobs in his field that were so low paying that he ad to take another job just to make ends meet. He is moving back this coming week, end of lease, and will be entering the Peace Corps in May. He will go to Grad school upon his return.

Jan. 27 2012 10:58 AM

He is a public official - one who has a signficant potential impact on my life - he is in charge of people who carry guns and can boss me around.

He lied, period, on a matter relevant to his public role.

He is unfit to hold such power over me. I do not trust him, with good reason.

This man should be removed from office.

Jan. 27 2012 07:41 AM
chandra from SFO

these crooks who s blaming commissioner might be radical nature hes the best man fr this job any body by going through profile can easily say tat watever he did there s nothhing wrong in tat he gave the real picture now a days people dare to speak againest these radicals may be few of them also planning some thing extreme too . these radicals brainwashed should be eliminated asap.

Jan. 27 2012 05:32 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.


Latest Newscast




WNYC is supported by the Charles H. Revson Foundation: Because a great city needs an informed and engaged public


Supported by