Posted by: vote4claxton | January 20, 2007


01/19/2007 10:58 PM

Former NYPD Chief Leads Campaign To Support Kelly Following Bell Case

Click here: NY1 | 24 Hour Local News | Top Stories | Former NYPD Chief Leads Campaign To Support Kelly Following Bell Case

By: NY1 News

It’s a show of black support for Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and his handling of the Sean Bell police shooting. NY1 has learned a former high ranking officer is putting together a campaign to boost Kelly’s image in the black community. NY1’s Dean Meminger has this exclusive story.

Calls for Commissioner Kelly’s ousting in the wake of the Sean Bell case there were calls for the ousting of Commissioner Ray Kelly. City councilman Charles Barron and the group 100 blacks in Law Enforcement joined the chorus saying Kelly must go.

But now a group of retired black officers is forming to say Kelly must stay.

“It is clear that Raymond Kelly stands heads and shoulders above the other commissioners, possibly except for Benjamin Ward, in terms of his relationship with the African American community, in terms of his openness and his willingness to reach out to people of the community,” said retired NYPD Chief Wilbur Chapman.

Chapman spent 30 years with the NYPD. He has known Kelly since the 70s. In the early 90s when Kelly was commissioner under David Dinkins, he named Chapman a deputy chief.

Chapman was ultimately elevated to chief of patrol under former Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s first commissioner, William Bratton.

Chapman says Kelly has always been good officer when it comes to the black community and black officers.

“There are a lot of people who behind closed doors and off camera that feel exactly the same way,” added Chapman. “It is time for them to speak up now. This is a terrific commissioner and people should support him.”

But the co-founder of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement says Chapman has been away from the force too long to know what is currently going on.

“What you have here is a group of people who have been disconnected from the community for extended periods of time, who now because of political favor, want to come and support the individual who the Black and Latino community is demanding to be removed,” said Marquez Claxton of 100 Black in Law Enforcement. “And so, it is obviously a political favor.”

Chapman responded by saying that the commissioner “absolutely did not” ask him to come forward and speak in his favor.

“We feel that it is very important the right information about Commissioner Kelly’s history come out so that people of New York know they have the finest commissioner in the history of this city,” added Chapman.

The group that has come out in support of Kelly says it is important for the black community and others to understand that the commissioner can not publicly say whether he feels the shooting of Sean Bell was justified or not.

They say the commissioner must wait until all of the evidence is gathered before making any decisions about the shooting.

“I’ve been black for a long time and I understand the anger in the community,” said Chapman. “I understand the upset. But I can’t think of another person who could handle this better Raymond Kelly.”

And that is why Chapman says he is recruiting more black officers to come out in support of the police commissioner.

-Dean Meminger


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