NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly admitted through a top aide Tuesday that he cooperated with filmmakers of "The Third Jihad"-- a radical anti-Muslim movie, which was screened for almost 1,500 officers during counter-terrorism training in 2010.
Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne confirmed to The New York Times that Kelly took part in an interview with the film's director, Erik Werth, in 2007. Browne also said Kelly expressed regret at the decision.
"Commissioner Kelly told me today that the video was objectionable," Browne said, "and that he should not have agreed to the interview five years ago, when I recommended it."
Browne and Kelly only admitted their involvement in the film after producer Raphael Shore emailed The Times and provided a date and time of the interview.
Tom Robbins of the Village Voice originally reported the department's involvement with The Third Jihad, which asserts that most American Muslims are involved in promoting terror, after hearing that cops were made to watch the film.
Responding to Robbins' article, the NYPD initially said the film was "mistakenly screened a couple of times." A Freedom of Information request by the Brennan Center for Justice, however, revealed the film had been shown "on a continuous loop" for up to a year of training for nearly 1,500 officers.
The NYPD said a sergeant, unbeknownst to Kelly and Browne, independently screened the film for officers. The sergeant has since been disciplined, according to Browne.
Mayor Bloomberg said Tuesday the police department used "terrible judgment" in screening the film. The criticism is curious however, as Bloomberg has previously defended the department's exposed secret program to gather intelligence on Muslim neighborhoods across the city.
The trailer for The Third Jihad is below. For more, go here.
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