The rift between the New York City Police Department and Mayor Bill de Blasio will not be easily solved and will require more discussion and time, according to the city’s top cop.
“I think it's probably a rift that is going to go on for a while longer,” said NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton, appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday. “However, we will be making efforts to sit down and talk with the union leaders in particular to deal with their issues.”
“The issues go far beyond race relations in this city,” he told host Chuck Todd, citing labor disputes and the city’s history of police and community disputes.
He also discussed the need to recognize the concerns and fears of the African-American community, calling it their “reality.”
“In policing that sometimes it's difficult to see those [concerns]. And I made comments yesterday in my eulogy about seeing each other to understand,” Bratton said. “Right, when I say 'see each other,' that means to not look past each other, but to really see what is motivating what we're experiencing.”
Bratton also weighed in on the perception of some police officers that have felt attacked by President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder. “They really do feel under attack, rank-and-file officers and much of American police leadership,” he said. “They feel that they are under attack from the federal government at the highest levels. So, that's something we need to understand also, this sense of perception that becomes a reality.”
“So, it's going to be a painful process. It has to be an open process. But the process that has to be engaged in, my mayor, myself, we are committed to engaging in it.”
Bratton also said on CBS's Face the Nation that uniformed officers turning their backs on the mayor at Saturday's funeral for one of the cops gunned down by a madman last week was "very inappropriate."