Tags: Bill Bratton | New York | police | tension | de Blasio | mayor | union

Bill Bratton: Rift Between NYPD Police, Mayor Nearly Healed

By    |   Sunday, 26 April 2015 01:10 PM

The rift between the New York City Police Department and Mayor Bill de Blasio has nearly been overcome, Police Commissioner William Bratton said Sunday, as emotions over the past few months are continuing to heal in the city.

"The union contracts, with the exception of one union, have been resolved," said Bratton, who appeared on CBS' "Face the Nation" program along with NYPD Deputy Commissioner John Miller. "There's much less tension; that's helpful as we go forward with the engagements we're going to have to have with the community, the police and the mayor."

The internal investigation into the death of Eric Garner, who died after being put in a chokehold by a police officer, has been put on hold, however, while the federal government conducts its own civil rights probe.

"We're on standby until they finish," said Bratton, noting that newly confirmed Attorney General Loretta Lynch, the former U.S. Attorney in Brooklyn, has asked for the hold.

Miller, meanwhile, told show host Bob Schieffer that he does have advice for police departments across the country, including in Baltimore, where thousands of protesters took to the streets Saturday, with pockets of them turning violent  over the death of Freddie Gray, who died on April 19 after suffering a fatal spinal injury while in custody.

"I think I would give very basic advice," he said. "Create your relationships under non-stressful situations. These crises, each one represents an opportunity to build dialogue with the key community leaders. But the problem, if you try to develop those relationships after some terrible event has happened and you're behind the eight ball that's a problem."

Bratton continued that while there are many "flash point" incidents making the news, there is actually dramatic improvement on the nation's crime situation.

"With crime down, also seeing a significant fall off on police actions that result in arrests," Bratton said. He noted that in 2009, there were 13.7 million arrests nationwide, but last year there were 11.3 million, marking 2.5 million fewer arrests.

This reflects, said Bratton, that police don't have to be quite as active. But still, each event offers an opportunity "for us to see each other better than we have in the past."

And Miller said he does not believe that adverse interactions between African-Americans and police officers have gotten worse: They're just more publicized.

"Everybody has a camera so incidents that might have happened, once they're recorded become much of more of flash point than just story that wouldn't have ever left that particular city," Miller said. "The other factor frankly is cable TV, which between the cell phone cameras that capture the moments and fact that it's played endlessly over period of days until the next one, creates this false perception of increase of this."

The two top cops also discussed reports that there are threats being made by Middle Eastern terror groups against American soldiers, and said the NYPD is taking such news serious, especially after an incident earlier this year when a man attacked four police officers with a hatchet, severely injuring one of them.

"We sat through very detailed classified briefings on Thursday, on Friday we conferenced on the phone, and again Saturday," said Miller "But, remember you have a drumbeat of attacks or plots to have attacks in Paris and London and Australia. We arrested two women claiming to use a pressure cooker bomb that they were attempting to develop in New York City. So this is a little bit of the new normal. [There is a] lot of chatter out there."

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The rift between the New York City Police Department and Mayor Bill de Blasio has nearly been overcome, Police Commissioner William Bratton said Sunday, as emotions over the past few months are continuing to heal in the city. The union contracts, with the exception of one...
Bill Bratton, New York, police, tension, de Blasio, mayor, union, contracts
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2015-10-26
Sunday, 26 April 2015 01:10 PM
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