Ex-NYPD Commissioner Kelly to Newsmax: Lack of Policing Allowed Subway Attack NYPD officers patrol the subway platform at the Atlantic Avenue subway station on April 13, 2022 in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York City. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty)
By Sandy Fitzgerald | Saturday, 16 April 2022 01:31 PM
Frank James, the man who has been charged in the Brooklyn subway shootings this week, was able to obtain a gun despite a background check, so the real issue is the lack of law enforcement on New York City's streets, former New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said on Newsmax Saturday.
"More regulations and controls are not going to do anything with the illegal gun universe that's out there," Kelly said on Newsmax's "America Right Now."
"We need more aggressive law enforcement. We need anti-crime units that have not been put back in place by Mayor (Eric) Adams"
He also noted that the anti-crime units that were on the streets in the past were in plain clothes, as "you need the ability to observe, the ability to surveil."
Meanwhile, there are a "whole host of things that can be done, but so far, there's been a lot of talk but no action," said Kelly.
James, 62, was arrested about 30 hours after he allegedly set off smoke grenades in a morning rush-hour subway heading from Brooklyn to Manhattan, before firing off at least 33 shots with a 9 mm handgun. There were no fatalities, but several people were treated for gunshot wounds and smoke inhalation.
Kelly pointed out that James obtained the handgun in Ohio after passing background checks, despite his history involving several arrests and treatment for mental health issues. He had also been under investigation for threats he'd made through social media.
"A conviction. Is that the only thing that will prevent you from getting a gun?" said Kelly.
"It has to be deeper than that. There has to be a more in-depth examination of individuals like this. His YouTube channel. All of the things that he's been doing for years have been filled with hate-filled, extremist verbiage, and yet he's able to buy a gun, so something is amiss with the system in my opinion."
James, he added, is "just, uh you know the manifestation of so many people with severe mental problems walking the streets of our cities, particularly here in New York. It's a societal problem that we have to take on, head-on."
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