The New York State Legislature’s Black and Hispanic Caucus has drafted a letter, demanding Governor Andrew Cuomo rescind his appointment of Raymond Kelly (pictured) as his special adviser, the New York Daily News exclusively reports.
The Caucus argued that the former NYPD Commissioner is unfit because of his aggressive policing policies in the past:
As head of the largest police department in the United States, [Kelly] has set a record of harsh, unconstitutional, unjust, bias, and discriminatory practices that lacked accountability. An appointment as your special adviser or any position would send a clear message to communities of color that those harmful police practices that he aggressively pushed under his leadership are acceptable to you and state legislators.
During Kelly’s contentious run as commissioner, he came under fire for the NYPD’s Muslim surveillance program and stop-and-frisk policies.
Despite large public outcry, Kelly stood behind his tactics, telling the Associated Press:
Our general tactics and strategies have worked, and that’s why we see these record reductions.… We did what we had to do to protect the city. We did it legally, we did it pursuant to oversight by the district court — and we’re still doing it legally and we have sufficient monitoring by our legal cadre.
Cuomo cited Kelly’s “phenomenal experience in counter-terrorism and homeland security” upon naming him as an adviser for the creation of a special SUNY college.
“We’re going to establish the nation’s first college dedicated solely to emergency preparedness and homeland security, because I believe that this is a field that’s only going to grow. Unfortunately, it’s only going to get worse. And we want this college, right here in the State of New York, training our people and training others from around the country,” Cuomo said during his State of the State speech earlier this month.
Caucus officials are handing the letter’s draft around the legislature before they will send it to Cuomo.