New York City Policy Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly offered a written apology for his appearance in a film deemed by critics, including the Center For American Progress in its “Fear, Inc.” report, to promote Islamophobia. Kelly appeared in the film, called the Third Jihad, which was shown in the registration area of a counter-terror training session for police.
Today, Kelly himself offered an apology for his appearance in the film, according to the Associated Press:
I offer my apologies to members of the Muslim community, in particular, who would find the film inflammatory and its airing on Department property, though unauthorized, to be inappropriate.
A Kelly aide denied to the New York Times, in an article published Tuesday, that Kelly had cooperated with the filmmakers of the Third Jihad. The film’s producers, the Clarion Fund, complained that the statement was inaccurate. “In fact, Kelly gave our filmmakers an hour and a half interview for use in the film,” the group wrote in a blog post where they linked to the just-published full interview. Kelly’s aide then retreated from his statements in a subsequent interview with the Times.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued a statement earlier today calling on New York City officials to order a full investigation into the repeated showing of the the film. HRW took particular issue with the false information provided by the NYPD, as reported in the Village Voice, that the film had only been shown “a couple of times” when newly released police documents show it was screened on a “continuous loop.”
“The New York City police not only showed an offensive anti-Muslim film during training, but its leadership grossly misrepresented the scope of the problem,” said Alison Parker, U.S. program director at Human Rights Watch. “A real investigation is promptly needed, with real results.”
Yesterday, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg criticized the police department for airing the film. “Somebody exercised some terrible judgment,” the mayor said. “As soon as they found out about it, they stopped it.” As to where the bad judgment came in, Bloomberg wasn’t sure and hinted at a possible investigation: “I don’t know who [was responsible]. We’ll find out.”