By Mike Lupica
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder goes after the NYPD for no good reason now, does that with a cheap late-night legal maneuver first reported in the Daily News. In the process, Holder goes right after Raymond Kelly, the best police commissioner in the country, treating Kelly like some dumb bindle stiff sheriff from Armpit, Ariz.
This is the same Holder, of course, who once thought holding terrorist trials here was a brilliant idea. So once again he comes up as the worst kind of tourist, one who thinks he knows more about New York City than he does.
By now you know that Holder has basically announced he wants a judge to appoint a monitor to oversee the NYPD, if a Manhattan federal judge named Shira Scheindlin finds the NYPD's stop-and-frisk policies unconstitutional.
Not only does Holder insult Kelly and insult Mayor Bloomberg, who have done so much to reduce murder in the city over the past decade, he basically gives Scheindlin a free swing at the stop-and-frisk before she rules on it.
It is an elaborate form of fight fixing, except in this case it comes from an overreaching and overmatched attorney general acting as if New York City is some banana republic instead of the big city that has done the most to take guns off the street, and for a long time. But then
Holder works for a president who has done nothing more to stop gun violence than give tearful speeches, who only spoke about guns in the last election as a last resort.
"It's a disgrace," Rep. Pete King was saying Thursday. "Ray Kelly has taken more guns off the street in his time as commissioner than any background check ever could. Kelly also happens to have done it with respect to civil rights, despite what his critics want you to believe."
King was just getting going, his Irish up in all ways, saying smart, tough things Kelly could not say himself on this day.
"Eric Holder needs to do a better job running the Justice Department before he starts worrying about Ray Kelly," King said. "It would be one thing if crime were out of control in New York. Except the opposite is the case. There is no other police force on this planet doing the job that Kelly's is doing.
"If Holder wants to meddle, go to some other city where people are afraid to walk down the street and leave New York alone. You keep hearing about how the NYPD is targeting minorities because of stop-and-frisk. What not enough people want to talk about is that nobody has done more to save the lives of minority kids than Ray Kelly has. Now Holder has the nerve to go after him? Why, to appeal to editorial writers?"
Pete King, out of New York's 2nd District: Not quite done yet.
"Holder basically says to (Scheindlin), you go this way with your decision and don't worry, I'll jump in," King said. "It's his way of encouraging a verdict."
He is right about that, as right as Kelly's critics are wrong. But then the great enduring lie on this from the start is that stop-and-frisk does not act as a deterrent when anybody with an IQ of about a hamster's sees that it does.
So here comes Holder, after this lawsuit against stop-and-frisk has been in the chute for years, to arbitrarily spit in Kelly's face at the last minute over strategies to combat gun crime in the city of New York that so clearly work and have been working, despite the hand-wringing of Kelly's opponents.
You know why Eric Holder didn't want to give Bloomberg and Ray Kelly a hearing on this before he filed papers that could eventually put the NYPD under a federal monitor? Because he didn't care what they had to say, that's why.
Eric Holder acts as if Ray Kelly is the one who can't do his job here, when it is so clearly the other way around. You know who needs a monitor? Holder does. The concealed weapon in New York this time turned out to be the Attorney General of the United States.