NYPD chief Kelly: More people will die without stop-and-frisk policy

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly on Sunday defended the controversial stop-and-frisk policy, saying there was “no question” violent crime would go up and more people would die after a federal judge ruled the practice unconstitutional.

“No question about it, violent crime will go up,” said Kelly, who is seen as a possible pick for Homeland Security secretary, in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Critics of the stop-and-frisk program say it allows police to unfairly target blacks and Hispanics. But New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has defended it, saying the program has helped cut down crime.

A federal judge on Monday struck down the policy, saying it discriminates on race, violating the Fourth Amendment. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin also appointed a federal monitor to oversee changes to the program.

Kelly said he hoped the decision would be appealed and called the practice essential to good policing.

“This is something that's integral to policing. This happens throughout America at any police jurisdiction. You have to do it. Officers have to have the right of inquiry, if they see some suspicious behavior,” said Kelly. “I can assure you, this is not just a New York City issue. It's an issue throughout America.”

Kelly has also been in the national spotlight since President Obama floated his name as a possible successor to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. 

In an interview in June, Obama said he would want to know if Kelly was interested in the post.

"Mr. Kelly might be very happy where he is, but if he's not, I'd want to know about it because obviously he'd be very well-qualified for the job," Obama said.