News / USA

NY Police Chief Admits Giving Interview for Controversial Film

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly (file photo)
New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly (file photo)
Carolyn Weaver

At least two American Muslim organizations are calling for the resignation of New York City's police commissioner and his spokesman for their involvement with a film criticized as anti-Muslim propaganda.  

The film, The Third Jihad, made by a private group, purports to show that violence and radicalism are the “true agenda” of many Muslims in the United States.

The movie contains an interview with New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly that police department spokesman Paul Browne first said was taken from another source. But after the film’s producers said that was untrue, Browne admitted arranging the interview.  He said that Kelly on Wednesday called the film “objectionable” and regretted participating in it.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, is calling for Kelly and Browne to resign, saying that they covered up their roles in the film.

Zead Ramadan, the organization's New York head, said Kelly made a terrible mistake.

"He, unfortunately, has agreed to knowingly working on a film that’s turned out to be Nazi-esque in its propaganda against Muslim people," said Ramadan.

News reports on Tuesday said the film was shown to almost 1,500 New York police officers during counter-terrorism training in 2010.  Police spokesman Paul Browne said that a police sergeant acted on her own when she screened it during shifts in a room where officers filled out paperwork.

“There was no discussion; there was no training about it," said Browne. "And it was unauthorized.”

In a rare criticism of his police department, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said “someone” in the police department used “terrible judgment” in showing the film.

The Islamic Circle of North America also denounced the police commissioner's participation in the film, and plans to join CAIR and other Muslim and human rights groups on Thursday to demand Kelly's resignation.   

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