A flood of predictable reactions — from police and protest circles — greeted the announcement Tuesday that New York Police Commissioner William J. Bratton is leaving the post in September. The 68-year-old is the most influential American law enforcement executive in modern times, the author of policing strategies that have shaped relations between police and the communities they serve, for better and for worse.
In the Media
After a rocky tenure in which he brought down crime, but also dealt with tension between police and people of color, New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton is leaving his job.
Bratton, whose departure was announced Tuesday, will leave next month to become a risk and security adviser at Teneo, a consulting firm. James O’Neill, the department’s top chief, will replace him as commissioner.
On Saturday, Assembly Member Michael Blake, at an event in his district, was forcibly restrained by a NYPD officer while trying to gain information about an incident that was occurring. He was released after a senior officer recognized him as an elected official.
The incident has many remembering a situation that took place in 2011, when I and Kirsten John Foy, who was working for then Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, were detained by police during the West Indian Day Parade.
Jews must support the Black Lives Matter movement to fight for the rights of people of color in their own religion, said dozens of Jewish activists who rallied for police reform Downtown on July 28.
“Black Lives Matter is a Jewish issue because there are black Jews,” said April Baskin, vice president of the Union for Reform Judaism congregation, who came all the way from D.C. for the event. “The freedom and safety of black people is tied to our Jewish values for justice and safety for everyone. Our country collectively has not been vocal enough.”
The organization Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ) will hold a rally this evening (Thursday, July 28) which will begin at 7pm in front of the Barclays Center. The rally will then proceed down Atlantic Avenue towards Brooklyn Heights. The march will culminate in front of the Brooklyn Detention Complex at 275 Atlantic Avenue, where mourners plan to light Yarzheit candles for those lost to police violence.
Two years ago this month, Eric Garner was gang-tackled and smothered by New York City police officers on a Staten Island sidewalk. His death helped to spark a national outcry and a push for better ways of policing the police. Among the reforms sought by the New York City Council are two bills to protect civilians from being harassed and unlawfully searched.
When NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton eventually leaves 1 Police Plaza, he will be remembered for the innovative CompStat program and its data-driven approach to fighting crime.
But critics said it was time for new ideas — and he was fresh out of them.
“He realizes there have to be changes and many of those changes he’s not comfortable with,” said Marq Claxton, director of the Black Law Enforcement Alliance, who worked for 20 years in the NYPD.