May the good Lord, His angels and the blessed saints preserve me: I’m a Nazi.
Why else would I be happy that New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly got run off of Brown University’s campus back on Oct. 29?
But I’m not just happy; I’m downright GIDDY.
Here’s what happened: Kelly was invited to give a lecture at Brown University entitled “Proactive Policing in America’s Largest City.” He didn’t get a word in edgewise before protesters heckled him off stage.
Christina Paxson, the president of Brown University, issued the following “the-queen-is-not-amused” statement:
“The conduct of disruptive members of the audience is indefensible and an affront to both civil democratic society and to the university’s core values of dialogue and the free exchange of views.”
She’s right, of course. The conduct was “indefensible.” It was an “affront to civil democratic society.” It was the stifling of free speech.
And I approve of the conduct, which must make me some kind of a Nazi, right?
Well, maybe. But perhaps I should postpone donning that swastika. There are some compelling reasons for defending what those Brown University protesters did.
Those of you who have been following the news know that a federal judge recently ruled Kelly’s police department conducted hundreds, if not thousands, of illegal Terry stops.
Not only were the stops illegal, U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled after hearing testimony from civilians AND police officers, but most were also racially motivated as well.
The buck stops with Kelly and his boss, then New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. If the Terry stops were illegal, that means Kelly and Bloomberg broke the law.
Kelly should not be getting invitations to speak at prestigious institutions like Brown University. For the rest of his tenure as NYPD commissioner, Kelly should spend his time before committees of city, county, state and federal legislators to account for his lawbreaking.