Perspectives on the #EricGarner case: Chief Bratton, #NYPD, Protests, Police Union

Watching Commissioner Bratton’s Face The Nation interview was a cringe-worthy experience. The commissioner rendered very opinionated answers, most of the time, very matter-of-factly and underhandedly. When you pressed your ear close to the TV speaker, you could tell that what was said so calmly wasn’t anything that should be taken as friendly to the people.

When asked how he felt when viewing the Garner choke-hold video, Bratton replied almost glibly:

“I don’t think that anybody watching that video isn’t disturbed by what they saw, that policing using involving use of force, it always looks awful. We have an expression: “lawful but awful…”

As a part of that answer, Bratton did slip in at least one statement to the effect that the maneuver was legal.

Later, the conversation turned to what the next steps were in investigating police behavior. Commissioner Bratton made a point of saying that while the NYPD process would take three to four months, it would be complete before the DOJ’s own investigation:

“I will make the final decision in the NYPD,” “We will move forward with Internal Affairs investigation directed by our prosecutor, the department advocate. And there will then be a department trial potentially if the advocate finds there are grounds for violations of our rules. That process is an open process, an open trial. That trial judge will then make a finding and make that finding known to me.”

The most interesting part of the interview came when Bratton was asked the delicate question about the statements of the police union in opposition to Mayor DeBlasio’s remarks about having needed to have “The Talk” with his son. Bratton didn’t miss a beat and in his best deadpan, had this very deft “good cop” answer:

“This is a mayor that has been very, very supportive of equipping the police to deal with many of the issues that this city is facing. He’s a progressive. He certainly wants police to police constitutionally, compassionately, respectfully, which is why he’s hired me because we are both of a shared mind on that issue.”

You can read about what the NYPD police union’s stance is here.

Speaking of being of one mind with a progressive mayor… What was left out of the conversation about compassion was the way the NYPD had dealt with protests the previous night. Is it compassionate to use LRADs against protesters who are angry about police brutality? In case you don’t know what an LRAD is, it is short for Long Range Acoustic Device. Yes. That would be one of those military weapons so many police departments were gifted by the Department of Defense.

Click here to read about the use of LRAD during the protests on the night of Saturday, December 6, 2014.

Either Chief Bratton is so completely out of touch with real life that he doesn’t realize how far outside of acceptable ethics his police force operates, or he’s so cynical that he can deliver interviews like today’s on Face The Nation in total deadpan.

Either way, I don’t like him any better than I did the first time he was chief of the NYPD or while he was chief in LA.

Click here to be taken to an article on the NYPD’s conduct during the 12/6/2014 protest.

For more on the police union statements click here to be taken to a separate blog post.

Watch The Full Interview:

Curated from CBSNewYork



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