Confronting the first civil rights test of his administration, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is struggling to take command of a controversy over the police and race that has pitted his longtime liberal supporters against the police department, says the New York Times. Yesterday, as police unions threatened a slowdown, the Rev. Al Sharpton and liberal activists were making plans to ratchet up pressure on City Hall, hoping to force an end to the so-called broken-windows approach to policing (cracking down on little crimes to deter bigger ones) that Police Commissioner William Bratton pioneered and that de Blasio has so far defended.
De Blasio is turning to his closest advisers, including the strategists who guided his mayoral campaign and crystallized his position against stop-and-frisk tactics, to help him better communicate his message. “We don't want to give the wrong answer,” said Rachel Noerdlinger, who like other City Hall aides said the mayor was carefully trying to articulate a path toward improved relations between the police and the community. “We want to make sure that whatever reform is made is fair and here to stay.”