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The Push for Ray Kelly as Head of DHS Heats Up

NYPD stop-and-frisk in action

The push to make New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly the new head of the Department of Homeland Security has intensified significantly over for the past few days.

In addition to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) aggressively lobbying for Kelly, President Obama has now started saying positive things about his possible appointment. In an interview with Univision’s New York affiliate Obama said he would be like to know if Kelly would be interested in the position because “very well-qualified for the job.”

This positive statement by Obama caused Rep. Pete King (R-NY), who is the former chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, to respond that Kelly is open to considering the job. According to people close to Kelly, he is “not saying no” to the possibility.

Kelly is responsible for numerous constitutionally questionable actions by the NYPD including aggressive spying on Muslims and a dramatic escalation of the stop-and-frisk tactic which almost exclusively targets minorities.

Having Obama appoint Kelly would be terrible for the country by sending a dangerous message. It would basically be seen as Obama giving his stamp of approval to these racist and likely unconstitutional policies, which could easily help them spread to other cities. If Kelly is appointed to the Head of DHS, stop-and-frisk could become dramatically more common.

Photo by Ken under Creative Commons license

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at