War of words heats up between Bratton, Kelly

- Former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly has accused the current police administration of cooking the books when it comes to reported shooting statistics.

Kelly made the statement during a radio interview Tuesday.

"There are some issues with the numbers being put out. I think there is some re-defintion being put out about what amounts to a shooting," said Kelly.

Current NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton was quick to fire back. Speaking to reporters, Bratton said Kelly's statements were "outrageous."

"These are the comments you make when selling a book. Those comments were outrageous. To claim in some fashion that we’re playing with the numbers, shame on him," said Bratton.

The war or words didn't end there. Later in the day, Kelly issued a statement about his successor.

"First, let me say, like all New Yorkers, I am troubled by the eroding qualify of the life in the city that is obvious to anyone who lives here. Most disturbing is a 20% increase in homicides by gun, accompanied by claims that overall shootings are down.

Members of the New York City Police Department have  informed me that the current administration has  changed the way shootings victims are calculated. For example, victim who incurs a graze wound are often not counted as a shooting victim, as was done previously. Similarly, a victim who sustains wounds by flying glass caused by a shooting is not recorded as a shooting victim.

Further, wounds sustained by a victim who refuses to cooperate with a police investigation have been recorded as self-inflicted.

All in an effort to reduce the reported number of shootings.

In homicide, the category of "circumstances undetermined pending investigation" has been misapplied to manipulate murder totals.

This information, supplied by active members of the department themselves, in no way denigrates the hard work of our police officers. Rather, it reveals an administration willing to distort the reality of what they face on the street."

Appearing on a morning TV news program, Bratton told Kelly to divulge his source.

"Well man up and provide the source. This is the former police commissioner dealing with tabloid politics," said Bratton.

In a lengthy prepared statement, Bratton issued the following to media outlets about crime stats:

The statements made by Raymond Kelly are unsupported by fact and the conclusions drawn are misleading to the public.

1. As of December 28, New York City has seen an increase of 15 Homicides. Of that, homicides by gunfire are up by 22 percent as of today which is a raw number of 40, however, homicides by stabbing are down by 40 percent for a raw number of 33. These are the normal ebbs and flows of crime trends in what is a period of historically low numbers. This is achieved at a time when other major American cities are seeing surges in violent crime. New York City is not.

2. There has been no change in the way shooting incidents are calculated. Graze wounds (that draw any blood) are counted as shooting victims just as they always have been.

3. A victim who sustains wounds by flying glass caused by gunfire is not recorded as a shooting incident. It has never been counted as one. The injury must be from the bullet. That is the same policy that existed under Mr. Kelly.

4. Self-inflicted gunshot wounds: About one-third of gunshot victims refuse to cooperate with police. The reasons can range from fear of reprisal to concealing their own criminal activity. This is nothing new. Not cooperating with police does not equate to a determination that a wound is self-inflicted and it never has. Only when additional evidence is developed in a shooting investigation such as witness statements, video, Shotspotter, physical evidence, would the shooting incident be deemed self-inflicted. In one such incident on Christmas Day, in Brooklyn's 71st Pct., detectives investigated a shooting with an uncooperative victim. A subsequent investigation revealed security camera video of the victim shooting himself accidentally. Up until that moment, the case was carried on the books as a shooting incident.

5. No change in how we record shooting numbers: NYPD crime reporting manuals on the Department's Intranet dating back to at least April of 2012 detail what does NOT count as a shooting, listed are the following:

·         Police -involved shooting (if justified)
·         Self-inflicted
·         Justified (eg: a licensed gun owner shoots an armed robber)
·         Pending justification
·         Graze wound-no blood


Nothing in the manual has changed although shootings are down to near record lows this year.

First, let me say, like all New Yorkers, I am troubled by the eroding qualify of the life in the city that is obvious to anyone who lives here. Most disturbing is a 20% increase in homicides by gun, accompanied by claims that overall shootings are down.

Members of the New York City Police Department have  informed me that the current administration has  changed the way shootings victims are calculated. For example, victim who incurs a graze wound are often not counted as a shooting victim, as was done previously. Similarly, a victim who sustains wounds by flying glass caused by a shooting is not recorded as a shooting victim.

Further, wounds sustained by a victim who refuses to cooperate with a police investigation have been recorded as self-inflicted.

All in an effort to reduce the reported number of shootings.

In homicide, the category of "circumstances undetermined pending investigation" has been misapplied to manipulate murder totals.

This information, supplied by active members of the department themselves, in no way denigrates the hard work of our police officers. Rather, it reveals an administration willing to distort the reality of what they face on the street.
 

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