Communities United for Police Reform responds to Commissioner Bill Bratton’s claim that civilians documenting the police are an “epidemic” that escalates police violence against civilians.
Either Bill Bratton is desperate for national attention or is seeking to deflect from corruption investigations and his impotence in addressing systemic failed police accountability, but it could be all of the above.
His claim of an ‘epidemic’ that legal observation of the police fuels police violence against civilians is akin to blaming the witness of a violent crime for the actions of the attacker – it’s ludicrous. It’s even more preposterous coming from the head of a police department in the midst of a corruption investigation into officers Bratton is responsible for promoting who haven’t yet been seriously disciplined, just like those officers involved in the misconduct related to killing Ramarley Graham and Eric Garner or brutality against so many other New Yorkers still haven’t been held accountable.
Bratton’s lack of commitment to real reform and attempts to demonize New Yorkers who observe and document police misconduct is consistent with his pattern of seeking to blame everyone else rather than take responsibility for his refusal to hold officers accountable when they abuse, brutalize and in some cases kill New Yorkers and cover-up their wrong-doing with more misconduct.
His blame extends to the Black family, duly elected officials, ‘bad apples’ and just about anyone else he can find, but he should use Memorial Day weekend to reflect and realize that it’s his failure to consistently and systemically hold officers accountable that is the culprit for continued police abuse and brutality in New York City.