New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly would face strong opposition from the civil rights community if nominated by President Barack Obama to lead the Department of Homeland Security, said NAACP president Ben Jealous Monday evening.
Jealous disagreed with Kelly's outspoken defense of stop-and-frisk, a policing tactic that a federal judge ruled unconstitutional because it constituted "indirect racial profiling."
"If he gets nominated, he will face the fiercest opposition from the civil rights community that any person put forward by President Obama ever has," said the NAACP president on MSNBC's "All In With Chris Hayes." "It will be vocal and outspoken, because he has chosen to be vocal and outspoken about racial profiling."
Jealous' comments signal a potential battle between President Barack Obama and civil rights advocates if Kelly is nominated. The president praised him in a recent interview. "Mr. Kelly might be very happy where he is, but if he's not, I'd want to know about it because obviously, he'd be very well-qualified for the job," he told Univision last month.
Kelly, for his part, is staying quiet about a potential nomination. "I’ve spent some time in Washington. I know it’s wise to keep my mouth shut at this time," he told CBS' "Face The Nation" Sunday.
On NBC's "Meet The Press," also on Sunday, Kelly said there was "no question" that violent crime would rise if stop-and-frisk is abandoned. However, violent crime has fallen in other cities without the policy and the murder rate in the city began falling before the drastic increase of the tactic, according to a report from the New York Civil Liberties Union.