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NY police chief apologizes for 'inflammatory' film

29 january 2012, 16:11
New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. ©AFP
New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. ©AFP
New York police chief Ray Kelly on Friday apologized for what he said was an "inflammatory" film about Muslims that was shown to hundreds of police officers at a training facility, AFP reports.

The film, "The Third Jihad," featured a brief interview with the police commissioner and claimed to portray the threat posed to the United States by radical Islamists.

Following an uproar in New York's Islamic community, Kelly said he sympathized.

"I saw it Tuesday for the first time. I think it's inflammatory," he said in remarks broadcast on NY1 television.

Kelly was interviewed in 2007 for the film, but says he did not know that it would turn out to be so controversial or that it would be shown to about 1,500 officers during training.

The film was apparently left on in a continuous loop in a room where officers would take breaks during training and was not officially part of any course.

"I don't think there was any ill intent here, but it should not have been shown," Kelly said.

However, Kelly -- also feeling pressure after rape allegations this week against his son, a prominent city TV host -- dismissed calls from some Muslim organizations for his resignation.

"You don't make everyone happy," he said.

Kelly defended the police department's relations with the Muslim community. However, the scandal over the film follows community anger over media reports that New York police officers have been carrying out secret surveillance of mosques and student groups.

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