“I think there should be an outcry that 96 percent of the shooting victims in this city are black or Latino,” Commissioner Ray Kelly said at a Police Athletic League event in Harlem. “There doesn’t seem to be any major community response, or demonstrations. We have not had a demonstration about this 3-year-old child. We haven’t had a demonstration about the level of violence. We’ve had demonstrations about virtually every other issue in this city except the level of violence, particularly in certain communities.”
The 3-year-old Kelly referred to is little Isaiah Rivera, who was shot in the leg on Sunday while playing in a sprinkler. Two men have been charged with attempted murder, but police are still looking for a third suspect.
Isaiah’s parents said the shooting has made them strong supporters of Commissioner Kelly’s controversial stop-and-frisk.
“They need to do it more often,” said the boy’s mother, Tiffiney Monajas. His father, José Rivera, believes the program “could have stopped this person, whoever did this, from having a gun.”
The police commissioner said the response to 77 New Yorkers being shot last week — a 28 percent jump over the same period last year — reveals that the black and Latino communities have come to “passively accept it.” In a later statement, Mayor Bloomberg agreed.
Of course, leaders of the black and Latino have responded — to Kelly’s comments.
State Sen. Eric Adams of Brooklyn resents Kelly painting black leaders as though they “don’t care about the safety of their community.” Melissa Mark Viverito, a city councilwoman whose district includes Spanish Harlem, told reporters that a rejection of the stop-and-frisk program isn’t equivalent to an acceptance of high levels of gun violence. “To imply that we don’t care just because we don’t agree with [stop-and-frisk] is irresponsible and inflammatory.”