The NYPD’s year in 2011 was full of controversy and bad press, mostly due to criticism over the handling of the Occupy Wall Street protests. And it seems like 2012 is only continuing the trend, with new information now emerging about an anti-Islam video shown to almost 1,500 new NYPD members at training centers in Brookyln.
The movie, titled “The Third Jihad,” informed officers-to-be of the purported dangers of American Muslims. It used interviews from top New York officials, including New York Police Chief Ray Kelly, to support these claims. The video first came to light in early January, when Tom Robbins of the Village Voice published an expose, and since then New York officials have been sending mixed messages about their stance and involvement in the video.
While Kelly and his staff originally denied involvement, saying that interviews were taken from other sources and that the video was only shown a couple of times, Kelly reversed his position after the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU released new information about the video, particularly that Kelly did in fact sit for an interview. Kelly now claims that his chief spokesman and advisor Paul Browne recommended he sit for the interview, telling him it was a documentary.
“He would not have done the interview, if he had known it was not going to be a straight documentary,” Browne told PIX 11 yesterday.
The video, which runs for 72 minutes, features explosions, burning American flags, and radical extremists, and suggests that not even moderate Muslims can be trusted. It also suggests that an Islamist Jihad against the U.S. threatens all Americans. While the video was never played as part of a training program, according to Browne, the video was played in a “waiting room” where officers-in-training waited before beginning training sessions.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg told the New York Times that the video was “done someplace else and as soon as they found out about it they stopped it and took it down. Somebody exercised some terrible judgment. I don’t know who. We’ll find out.”