Despite Police Improvements, Justice System Under Attack, Bratton Says


I've never seen a time in … 45 years in which the criminal justice system is so under attack,” New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton tells the Boston Herald. “You'd have to go back to the '70s to probably find a similar period of time of anti-police sentiment, some of it around issues of race, as it was back then, some of it now around issues of terrorism and jihadism.” Bratton says that in today’s climate, “Everybody [is] demanding 'Police, they need to do better.' Well, we do. But society and government need to do better, and that's one of the problems at this particular point in time, that police are the scapegoat for all of society's ills. And the irony is there's probably no profession that has progressed more than policing in America in the last 45 years.”

In Bratton’s view, the problem is that, “we need to find a better way to deal with the relatively small number of very violent people that constantly attract the police … and in dealing with that violence, police having to resort to use of deadly force and end up taking lives. And we have to resist the temptation every time a police officer takes a life of a minority to automatically assume that the police officer did something wrong. Because in the vast, vast majority of cases, that is not the case … If anything, police have gotten much better at restraint.”

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