Kelly From the Block

Here’s a photo of New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly with Jennifer Lopez at the 32nd annual New York City Police Foundation gala, from this slideshow of the commish’s increasing social activities. This of course in the context of rumors that the 70-year-old Kelly might make a run at the mayor’s office once Bloomberg’s term expires next year. My own interest is piqued by the ubiquitous J-Lo, who seemingly isn’t taking this networking opportunity to bring up the increasingly ineffective stop and frisk policies that Kelly refuses to abandon despite reports like this one issued today by the NYCLU.

Stop-and-frisk is a pioneering preventive anti-crime tactic that has presaged much of what we have come to accept as the new surveillance society, but it is largely unquestioned because it affects primarily black and Latino youth, a target group that has been increasingly criminalized. If you believe Michelle Alexander, this is all part of a solution to the problem of the shift from an industrial production to a finance capital workforce. Because of this shift, a surplus population of unskilled minority youth will become necessarily  unemployable so to solve this dilemma they have been criminalized and incarcerated in increasing numbers. This alleviates the “crime problem” while fueling gentrification and artificial real estate valuation in transforming cities and a huge prison industry pops up in outlying exurbs.

Is Jenny from the Block aware of this, or the rest of the elite hob-nobbers at the parties Ray Kelly attends?


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