OTR Interviews

4th NYPD cop killed in line of duty in less than a year: Are police under siege?

Former NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly goes 'On the Record' on the slaying officer Randolph Holder and the 'hardened, violent criminal' accused of killing him


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," October 21, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: In just 11 months, the City of New York has lost four officers to murder.


BILL BRATTON, NEW YORK CITY POLICE COMMISSIONER: There is no denying that in this country over the last several years, there has been an anti- police attitude that has grown and that's unfortunate. As well, we do have problematic officers in our ranks among our 800,000.

The vast majority of the 800,000 like the officers last night continually on behalf of the citizens of this city and this country go toward the danger. Put their lives on the line and last night, as we saw, lost a life to trying to protect everybody else.

So this is an issue that we need to be mindful of, that we need to try to find some balance in the national debate that's underway at this time so that we don't foster or encourage those that think that they are being supported when they exhibit anti-police behavior or attitudes.


VAN SUSTEREN: Former NYPD commissioner and author of the book "Vigilance: My Life Serving America and Protecting Its Empire City" Ray Kelly is here to go ON THE RECORD.

Good evening, commissioner. And I know that you feel like Commissioner Bratton tonight. You know, this is one of yours.

RAY KELLY, FORMER NYC POLICE COMMISSIONER: Absolutely. It's gut- wrenching. It reverberates throughout the city. Every police officer thinks that it could have been him or her. It's always a terrible experience when an officer loses his life.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is there a trend across this country against police officers?

KELLY: Yes, I think so. You can feel it. I think the numbers bear it out somewhat. But you can feel it. The rhetoric has gotten very strong, certainly after Ferguson.

It's one of those aftermaths of Ferguson. It's in the Ferguson affect if you will, where people feel free to threaten police officers, different movements are out there and putting them more at risk than normal.

VAN SUSTEREN: How have we as a nation allowed that to happen? I mean, every single day, you know, I see police officers, you know, out there trying to protect us, you know.

And how is the message gotten out there that suddenly, you know, that they are out there to protect us, but that some think that they are there to, you know, to take on?

KELLY: I think there's always been people who have said that in some way, shape, or form. But the media, I think, bears some responsibility in this. They will give a forum to the people who want to actually incite violence against the police. That's probably, you know, good media, good television to a certain extent. And I think that compounds the problem.

VAN SUSTEREN: Are some police -- now, last night, these two police officers who confronted this killer, one of them, of course, survived, they ran towards the danger. They heard gunshots. They knew the two gangs were fighting.

You know, I hear something like that, and frankly, I run in the other direction. But they ran to the danger.

Are we going to see, or do you fear that police officers will start -- stop having sort of the courage to run towards the violence to stop it?

KELLY: No. Police officers are always going to run towards the danger. That's what they are paid for. It's in their D.N.A. They selected this world in which they operate. It's dangerous, obviously. It puts them at risk, as we saw so tragically last night. But they are always going to do that. That's what it's all about.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Now, this started --this incident last night was gang violence. Turf war over drugs. Where are these drugs coming from?

KELLY: Well, in New York City, 90 percent of the guns that are confiscated are coming from out of state. They are coming from local states like or close states like Pennsylvania. But Florida, Georgia, Virginia, West Virginia are major contributors to the guns in New York City.


VAN SUSTEREN: What about the --

KELLY: That without a national approach, we are always going to be plagued by that.

VAN SUSTEREN: What about the drugs, though? Because, I mean, they are fighting over drugs. And I assume that if, you know, the drugs are giving oxygen to these fights. What are these illegal drugs coming from?

KELLY: Well, some of the fights are over drugs. But some of it also is over turf. It's just a question of this is my neighborhood, and not your neighborhood. This is my housing project. Not yours.

Drugs are coming from traditional locations. 60 percent of the drugs in this country are coming -- are trucked across the border from Mexico. That hasn't changed in many years.

VAN SUSTEREN: If you were commissioner tonight, what do you say to your New York Police Department?

KELLY: Well, I think the commissioner and the mayor have said the right things. We know the cops are going to continue to do their job. But it's just such a gut-wrenching experience. Every police officer tonight, he or she is looking over their shoulder. They have to be concerned. They are concerned every night, about every day, but this is just a, such a stark reminder of the dangers that they face.

So, I think you tell them and you support them, in doing their job. You tell them that you are going to support them, and they need that backup.

VAN SUSTEREN: Commissioner, thank you, sir.

KELLY: Thank you.