Bratton Dealing With Slowdown, Says Don’t Blame Police For Race Issues


New York Police Commissioner William Bratton confirmed to NPR there had been a work slowdown by officers in the weeks since two officers were shot dead and said it is being corrected. “We’ve been taking management initiatives to identify where it’s occurring, when it’s occurring,” Bratton said. “I think the officers themselves have, on their own, been beginning to return to normal patterns of work. So we’re coming out of what was a pretty widespread stoppage of certain types of activity.”

The comments come after Patrick Lynch, head of the Patrolman’s Benevolent Association, said there was no slowdown. He attributed the decline in arrests and summonses for minor offenses to the New York Police Department doubling up its foot patrols and patrol cars after the Dec. 20 shooting deaths of Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos. Bratton’s responsey: “That would be one factor in terms of the decline of some of the numbers, but it would in no way influence significantly the overall dropoff of activity.” Bratton acknowledged that African-American men experience harsher treatment than their white counterparts, but noted it was not just at the hands of the police. “We’re talking about a much more complex, larger national issue — don’t go blaming the police,” he said. “I’m sorry, we’re not going to be the whipping boy, if you will, for this issue in America.”

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