Channel 7: WABC News

February 2, 2004


Hundreds Of Cops Demand The Resignation Of Police Commissioner Kelly

By Kemberly Richardson

 Police Commissioner Ray Kelly is now under fire. Hundreds of officers want him to resign for not defending a cop who shot and killed an unarmed Brooklyn teen. That officer is set to tell his side of the story today.

Officer Richard Neri is expected to come to Supreme Court today and give his side of the story. He will give an account of what happened on the rooftop of that Bed-Stuy Building. Neri will reportedly try and convince the grand jury that the shooting was an accident. It's a shooting that has rocked the police department.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly is now facing a backlash that's gaining momentum in the form of hundreds of angry officers calling for his resignation.

The Patrolman's Benevolent Association feels betrayed by Kelly's stance on the recent shooting death of 19-year old Timothy Stansbury. Stansbury was unarmed when Officer Richard Neri shot him on the roof of a Bed-stuy building last month. Just hours after the shooting, Kelly made this comment.

Ray Kelly, NYC Police Commissioner: "There appears to be no justification for this shooting."

The union claims Kelly hung officer Neri out to dry for the sake of avoiding any possible racial turmoil over the shooting.

In Queens yesterday, union officials displayed six boxes containing 20,000-signed affidavits demanding that Kelly resign. The union says the no-confidence vote is the result of the police commissioner not sticking up for an officer.

Pat Lynch, PBA: "He tainted the jury pool that has to sit and be unbiased and listen to this information. If it goes wrong and he is indicted, he has tainted the jury pool that will listen to this trial."

Mayor Bloomberg stands behind Commissioner Kelly's actions.

Mayor Bloomberg: "We should take a no confidence vote in the PBA. We have the best police commissioner this city has ever seen. When he sees information, he puts it out. The public has a right to know and this police commissioner has defended the police department better than anyone ever has."

Now the strategy behind Neri testifying is that if he is indicted, it would be on a lesser charge. In terms of that vote of no confidence, the last time we saw that action was in 1999 with the former commissioner Howard Safer. He actually retired a year later.