July 11, 2016
Police Commissioner William Bratton: Good morning. As you know, our tradition is at the end of the month – to report within several days of the end of the month our CompStat figures, as well as discuss particular crimes of interest to you. Today’s event is intended to discuss not only the month of June, but also the first six months of this year trending in terms of where we think we’ll be at the end of the year. So, it is a little later than usual. And the events of last week also compounded our ability to put the numbers together and be able to have a conference where we can discuss the crime numbers, which from my perspective and that of the Mayor – we’re looking very, very good. Thirty months into this administration that crime continues to go down – and we are projecting it will continue to go down.
That – we have taken the liberty of giving you all seats and giving ourselves seats. Dermot will be talking about six months of crime – presentation, Dermot Shea – presentation might run a little longer than usual, so we figured we’d make sure we were all in a position to be rested while he gives his numbers.
The numbers are very, very good. I am very pleased with the performance of the department I’m privileged to lead. As Dermot will point out – that the crime numbers for June continuing the trends of the last 30 months look very, very good. And the crime numbers for the first six months of this year – with overall crime under – around 48,000 criminal incidents. There is a real strong potential by the end of the year – our goal will be to once again try to hit under 100,000 major crimes in the city. And we go back to the early 1990s where we were averaging over half a million a year.
So, I’m going to turn it over to the Mayor for his comments. Dermot will give more of the specifics. We will also be prepared to have discussions about the crime numbers we’re presenting – but then we’ll have off-topic opportunities also. So with that, I would turn it over to Mayor de Blasio, Sir.
Mayor Bill de Blasio: Thank you very much, Commissioner. Commissioner – congratulations to you and your leadership team and especially congratulations to the men and women of the NYPD for an extraordinary six months of accomplishment. I want to thank everyone at the NYPD. This was the ultimate team effort. And some of the numbers we’re going to go over here suggest big changes in this city that have been engineered over the last 30 months by Commissioner Bratton, and Chief O’Neill, and the whole team up here. And these – from my point of view – are the kind of changes that will have a lasting impact on this city because this model of policing is working more and more. And in this approach to policing – this pinpointed strategy, this effort of going at where the specific problems are and reinforcing those areas heavily; the community policing, neighborhood policing model we put in place; the focus on technology – all of this is paying off. And it’s creating a momentum that allows the police to do better and better all the time. And as more problems are addressed, there’s more energy to go at the remaining problems; and in the middle of all that – by the end of the year – 2,000 officers more on patrol. So this is a really powerful moment where the NYPD is getting to do things that it’s always wanted to do. It’s now getting the chance to do them and to change the lives of people in all the neighborhoods of this city.
I want to, of course, reflect upon how difficult it has been this last week. And what I said about the recognition all New Yorkers should have – that our officers feel a deep kinship with each other – they feel a deep connection to each other – not only here in the city, but all around the country. So it’s really important for all New Yorkers to appreciate what the policing profession has gone through this week – this last week. And remember that the way forward comes from deepening the bonds between police and community. And every one of us is a part of that. Every one of us has an opportunity to connect more deeply with the police who protect us. And certainly our police are doing that with our communities. That’s the strategy. And that strategy is really taking hold. And you’ll see in these numbers – some of the progress here is directly related to neighborhood policing – to the NCO initiative where more and more residents are now making police aware of dangers in their community. They’re reporting to officers where criminals are, where illegal guns are, where illegal social clubs are. When you talk to police officers, it’s very much like any other situation strategically in life. Information is power.
And when community residents proactively seek out police officers to tell them the things they need, that is the beginning of much greater change. And we see it happening already with the NCO program all over this city.
In terms of the unity that we have to reach, it comes from – all of these efforts, neighborhood by neighborhood, comes from the neighborhood policing strategy, it comes from a different approach to training, it comes from a recognition of the biases in all of us – and strategies to address those biases. That’s why I commend the Commissioner for having instituted as part of police training implicit bias training. That is one of the difference makers. And that is admired and appreciated all over the country – that the NYPD is leading the way in this area.
That’s part of how we make the change. Another part of how we make the change is that every person who cares deeply about improving the relationship between police and community has to comport themselves in a way that helps achieve that. There’s been a lot of information and some misinformation in the last week, and certainly over months and months.
I want to commend the protesters who, this weekend, stopped in the middle of their protest and had a moment of silence for the five officers we lost in Dallas, because they very visibly showed the world that you can be working for social change but still honor our police officers, and want only safety for our police officers.
And I have said it to you before but I have to say it again – there’s no more powerful example and metaphor for this nation than the fact that the officers in Dallas under fire immediately went to protect the protesters they had just been walking alongside. Their first instinct was to protect the civilians around them. These are the examples of the way forward, and the things that we all have to do for each other to create a different and better society.
In terms of what’s happening here – and you’ll hear a lengthy, hopefully not too lengthy presentation, from Dermot Shea.
Commissioner Bratton: It’s actually fairly brief.
Mayor: He’s getting better. You’re going to hear some numbers that are striking.
Shootings – down 20 percent since last year, the fewest shootings in the first six months of any year in our history. This reflects the extraordinary work of the men and women of the NYPD. And to put it in real terms – 100 fewer shootings compared to the same point last year. Let’s put that in very human terms, what that means for the people who did not encounter violence, whose lives were not disrupted because of the work of the NYPD.
Gun arrests – up 20 percent. We’re dealing with a horrendous situation, and I believe this nation is really focusing on the gun issue more and more. And I believe as this country recognizes that the flow of guns all over this country into the wrong hands, be they terrorists or criminals or people with mental illness – is a threat to all of us, and it’s a threat to our law enforcement officers. The more this nation recognizes this reality, the more change I believe will come.
But against that horrible backdrop, the NYPD has found a way to get more and more illegal guns off our streets – 20 percent more than last year. 11 fewer murders compared to the first six months of last year – down six percent.
And this next point is so powerful – in terms of robberies, burglaries, and auto theft in each of these categories – the best first six months of a year in the modern era in all three of those categories. No six-months of the beginning of any year has been better than this in terms of reducing robberies, burglaries, and auto theft.
So 2016 saw the fewest shootings, the fewest robberies, the fewest burglaries, the fewest auto-thefts of any first-half of a year in a CompStat era.
So, when you think about that, the lives of everyday New Yorkers are freer. They’re more peaceful. They’re less disrupted. And people have every reason to feel safer. We have more work to do. Every day we know have more work to do, and one crime is one crime too many.
But these kinds of numbers suggest real change for every day people’s lives.
I’m going to say a few words in Spanish.
[The Mayor speaks in Spanish]
Back to you.
Commissioner Bratton: Dermot Shea will give you the update here. He will be assisted by a number of charts that will be shown on the various screens around the room.
Deputy Commissioner Dermot Shea, NYPD: Good morning, everyone. So two-and-a-half years ago, we began speaking about a core group of offenders showing up at multiple shooting scenes, arrested multiple times for firearm possession. We committed, at that time, to focusing in on this core group of offenders, and I think the numbers that you’re going to hear today are proof-positive of a winning strategy, if you will. 110 fewer shooting incidents this year – these are not minor ebbs and flows in crime, these are dramatic drops. 120 fewer people shot in New York City so far this year. So, the question generally is, what are we doing? And we’re doing quite a bit. You’re seeing a combination of focused gang takedowns, focused enforcement, and then complimented by the integration of the new NCO program with community involvement that the Mayor alluded to.
You hear constantly – and you’re going to see and hear in a minute from Bob Boyce, describing some of these successful gang take downs. And it garners a lot of media attention as these cases are coming down, but what you don’t always hear is the data-driven analysis behind these, the analysis of effective cases, who to target. And this is all behind the scenes going on, which is leading to that 110 shooting drop – really, to maximize the results. At the same time that we’re doing this, we’re seeing shootings drop. We’re seeing gun arrests rise 20 percent – that’s the highest number of gun arrests in New York City in over five years. You see other types of activity fall – in June alone, 5,000 fewer arrests; 5,000 fewer criminal court summonses; over 8,000 fewer stops; nearly 20,000 fewer contacts, if you will, at the same time that we’re hitting record-setting low levels of crime. And this precision that we’re detailing doesn’t just apply to gun violence. It’s the same individuals, whether groups, gangs, crews – that their day job is stealing cars, robbing people, etcetera. So, this is the corollary where we’re seeing not just crime drop – violence drops and at the same time.
The good news is, as you hear these numbers, we’re not done. We’re getting unprecedented amounts of technology integrated into the systems. And this technology – the anticipation is that we have not peaked – it’s going to catapult us further as we learn – our detectives, our officers really learn how to maximize the benefits of these technologies.
So, here’s a brief view of June crime – down one percent – a decrease of 121 crimes – that’s the lowest June index crime number in CompStat era. We hit the lowest number in robberies for June, burglaries in June, and shooting incidents. One category we had an increase in – murder – 32 recorded murders, 30 of which happened in June – two were re-classed. What we saw in the murders in the month of June was street – very plain outside gunfire, predominantly the vast majority in the Brooklyn and the Bronx. 24 of the 30 that occurred in June occurred in Brooklyn and the Bronx.
When you talk about year-to-date through June 30th, now, index crime – we are essentially flat. The Commissioner alluded to the goal of under 100,000 crimes. We finished last year with roughly 105,000 major index crimes in New York City. As we sit here today, July 11th, we are actually about 160 crimes below the level where we were last year – so, very promising numbers. Murder – 11 murders down; rape year-to-date – we are up 7.3 percent. I’ll slow down a minute here, because we always get questions on the rape. So, just to dissect the rape occurrences that we’re seeing, we categorize rape into three categories in New York City – stranger, acquaintance, and domestic. The stranger rapes account for about eight percent of the overall rapes. Stranger rapes in New York City are actually down this year. So, that leaves the other 92 percent – both acquaintance and domestic, which are up slightly. The irony here is not lost on us that in these categories, generally, oftentimes, we have from the beginning in these cases an identified perpetrator, but the unique nature of these cases at times makes it difficult as we move through the criminal justice system. So, it is something we are aware of. Despite this, we are constantly advocating for more reporting, because we’re aware that this is a unique crime that oftentimes goes unreported. With the rapes that were recorded in New York City this year, one out of four did not occur this year – and that’s fairly consistent with what we see in prior years.
Robberies – I mentioned the lowest June. It’s also the lowest point we’re ever been at in the CompStat era in year-to-date through June 30th – robberies in New York City. Same can be said for burglaries. Same can be said for stolen autos. By borough, three of the five boroughs are down in overall crime through June 30th. There are two boroughs that are up – one being the Bronx, which is being driven by domestic-related crime. You have two ends of the spectrum in the Bronx this year – they are having their lowest recorded shooting incident numbers at the same time that we’re seeing flare-ups in some other categories, most recently robberies and domestic crime. And there is a corollary sometimes between those robberies. We’re seeing domestic robberies, domestic assaults. So, the Bronx is one of the two boroughs up. The second borough that’s up in crime through June 30th is Manhattan, and that is a completely different scenario. We’re seeing a bit of an increase in grand larcenies. And with the grand larcenies, what we’re seeing is recent spikes in not in-person grand larcenies. So, phone calls – and I would urge everyone, just to get the message out to family, friends, loved ones, if it’s too good to be true, it is. So, what we’re seeing most recently in New York City – and we know that this is happening across the country – people getting solicited on the phone or on the internet. If somebody sends you a check and says keep it, but send me something back, it’s probably a scam. If somebody asks you to send them [inaudible] or iTunes gift cards as payment for some service, whether it’s a car or a computer that you’re buying, it’s potentially a scam. Use a lot of caution, because those are the two areas where we’re seeing an increase this year in New York City.
When you talk about housing crime year-to-date, we’re up 158 crimes – it comes out to a 6.8 percent increase in housing crime fueled by two categories – the Bronx and domestic crime, both, again, which are related. Housing crime – like the Bronx – lowest shooting numbers for housing in at least 10 years. So, significant advances on some fronts, but, behind closed doors, those crimes that are sometimes very difficult to combat is where we are seeing our increase. Housing crime currently in New York City is right where it normally is – about five percent of overall index crime in New York City – about 20 percent of the shootings. And on the transit front, Joe Fox will be very quick to point out that we are near record lows in transit and we’re essentially now flat in transit crime – down in stabbing-slashings in transit, which was making the news earlier this year. And transit overall has accomplished this while cutting significantly the number of arrests made.
I’ll finish a little bit with just some of the overall activity. Arrests – down three percent this year. To see the full story, you need to go further – down 19 percent in two years. We are at the lowest level in over 20 years in arrests made in New York City. This is while felony arrests are up, index crime arrests are up, and the Mayor already alluded to the gun arrests – minimum five-year high – and not just arrests – stronger cases and with the anticipation of better prosecution. And we are working on unprecedented levels with all of our partners on that front.
Stop, question, and frisks – down 250 percent – excuse me, 45 percent – 250 is for the year. Under 8,000 recorded stops in New York City this year. So, to summarize – a very good picture. We expect to go even lower as we integrate. We think we’re scratching the surface of some of the new technology that’s been afforded to us. So, very good times ahead.
Commissioner Bratton: Two comments, following up on Dermot’s presentation, relative to the stop, question, and frisks. The numbers are down, as you’re well aware, even as crime continues to go down. So, increasingly, we believe we’re stopping the right people, and that’s reflected by the fact that a percentage of those stopped – arrested is up dramatically from the period of time where we were stopping hundreds of thousands. In terms of the gun seizures, that’s also reflective of officers in the street. A lot of work being done by our field intelligence officers that work out of the precincts. Their seizures are up dramatically also this year. I would also point out that violent crime in America – the country as a whole – and particularly in most of its major cities is up dramatically this year. You report on it in many of your media outlets in other cities around the country. The experience in New York is really the exception to most of the major cities in this country at this particular time.
So, arrests, summonses, stops are down [inaudible]. Meanwhile, we’re arresting a lot more of the right people for the right crimes, that’s leading to the crime decline. And my projection is that the numbers will continue to go down. We’re now into our 26th straight year of overall crime decline in this city, and that’s something I think we can all feel grateful for. There’s 8.5 million of us here now. There were 7.5 million when I first came to New York in 1990. So, by and large, we’re getting along pretty well with each other and I think it’s something that oftentimes gets lost in the mix of all the other things that are going on nationally and elsewhere in the State.
With that, I’d like to introduce Chief of Detectives Bob Boyce, well known to all of you. Bob will give you some specifics on some of the driving influences on the kind of declines that Dermot Shea has just talked about. Bob?
Chief of Detectives Robert K. Boyce, NYPD: Good afternoon everyone. At the end of 2015, we took a hard look at motives. Detectives Bureau defines the motive of each shooting and each homicide. So we took a hard look and we saw the number one motive on shootings in this city was gang-related. What are we going to do about it?
We changed that paradigm we had before. We had all of our best detectives, or a lot of our best detectives in homicide squads. So we wanted to move them into a proactive sphere, which are gang investigations. So we created different divisions within the Detective Bureau, the unified investigative model, and started using those detectives to tough tackle on these gang members. So far this year in the first six months, Dermot talked about the reduction in shootings in homicides. It’s even greater in the gang realm as well as narcotics and I will explain. We have 41 total takedowns year to date for the first six months of this year – 24 of those 41 were gang; 17 were narcotic. And the gang takedowns – 491 arrests and they’re targeted at prior shooting locations. Where is that? In the Bronx in the 4-7 Precinct, the Big Money Bosses, 45 arrests. Operation Eastchester Gardens, 2Fly, 44 arrests – there were giving us fits for years in the 4-7 and 4-9 as far as back and forth gang-shootings. We arrested them and we are seeing dramatic reductions. And if you see these maps over here, as you go around the City, certain locations are driving our shooting numbers. Brooklyn North, Cypress Hills Houses – there was another big takedown there. Team Side Crips, Pop Out Boys in the 7-9. And you go through each one, the Upper East Side of Manhattan, the 2-3, 2-5, where Detective Holder was murdered; those East Harlem gangs taken down and put in federal [inaudible]. So where are we? Gang-motivated homicides this year so far, 11 versus 29. That’s 18 reductions, that’s a 62 percent reduction in gang-motivated homicides. Shootings: 84 gang shootings thus far this year versus 165 last year; down 81 or about 50 percent.
So we are seeing quite a benefit out of these long term investigations with these great detectives doing this work. With all members of all the District Attorneys of New York combined as well the Eastern Southern District. I will say this, each one of these gang cases are pre-indicted so we gather evidence; we bring it to a grand jury. Those individuals are indicted and then we go out and arrest them with these takedowns. So they are already as far as halfway along into the court procedure before we arrest them. Very few times do we arrest without an indictment in these operations. We’ve done incredibly well with this.
Narcotics – one of the big things, if you see the other posted behind that we see an uptick and it’s a scary situation with the amount of heroin overdoses. I specifically tasked my narcotics officers. Each one will take a case on an overdose in this city. It’s developed into a lot of 17 major takedowns done so far this year and you can see the amount of recovery, it’s tremendous. 115 arrests but we have 655 kilos of cocaine recovered and I believe 130 kilos of heroin recovered as well; 23 guns, $2 million. So the greatest detectives in the world are being the greatest detectives in the world and doing a great job as far as targeting the people who are driving the numbers in the city. It’s a joint effort in the Police Department; however I represent the detectives so I am going to bang that drum as hard as I can. But I’ve done a great job with it and it’s not over yet, we still have active cases going forward right now. Thanks.
Mayor: Bob, do you have that gang-shooting number you talked about upstairs?
Chief Boyce: Yes. The gang-shootings, I said 84 versus 65 down all these numbers; narcotics, 67 versus 76. Tremendous decreases in the gang overall takedown and its paying a dividend here. Probably the best thing we’ve done – gang-wise in a long time. It’s not the end of it but it’s certainly 49 percent, 50 percent reduction in gang-shootings. 81 of the 100-plus, 120, I believe, overall number. That’s three-quarters at least; of the gang-shootings this year are gang-shooting reductions.
Commissioner Bratton: Thank you Bob. Chief O’Neill will speak next, Chief of Department. He and Chief Gomez, as you know, have been driving the department’s community policing, neighborhood policing effort in very successful ways. The introduction of Neighborhood Coordination Officers, the pilot Precinct Program in addition to the significant reduction in crime that we are experiencing, a significant number of enforcement necessary in the city to keep the peace – the peace dividend, as we call it. We’ve also seen a significant decline in the number of CCB complaints against our officers as their activity has lessened because they don’t need to be as proactive in many neighborhoods as they once did with the decline in crime. Chief O’Neill is going to speak to you about specifically the recent demonstrations – what the department has been dealing with. In New York fortunately the demonstration we’ve been dealing with had been by and large very peaceful, destructive to traffic from time to time, but with the exception of one arrest for an assault on our police officer, they have also been remarkably free of violence. Jim have you got an update on what people have been doing?
Chief O’Neill: Sure just to talk about the NCO Program for a second, we are up to 26 commands throughout the city plus 6 PSA’s and by the time we get to October that should be up to 35. There’s actually a roll out tonight in the 7-9 Precinct, Chief Monahan will be taking care of that. Just a recap on the demos I spoke about. I spoke about Thursday night’s demos at the press conference on Friday but for those of you who aren’t here we had about 1,500 people at peak. We ended up making 42 arrests. The bulk of them were at 42nd Street and 7th Avenue in Times Square. And a couple were over at 5-7 and 5, 57th and 5th Avenue, and then one at 72nd Street and 5th Avenue.
There was one arrest for assault— assault, second degree which is an assault on a police officer. The police officer is recovering. I think it was a leg injury. On Friday evening, we also had demonstrations in three locations: Union Square, 1-2-5 and Lenox and 110 and Lenox. At peak that was about 500 people, it ended around 11 o’clock that night. No major incidents. No major disruptions and no arrests. Saturday evening was much busier. We ended up with about 1,500 demonstrators, started at Brooklyn Bridge with about 100 to 200 people. By the time the group got to Union Square it grew. They broke out into multiple groups and we ended up making 23 arrests. Three were at 42nd Street and 5th Avenue; 7 were at 14th and 6th. There was an additional arrest in the Midtown South area. And the most problematic one for me was the 12 on the F-D-R Drive. There was an additional charge there for being on a prohibited roadway and that was in the – I don’t know if you remember Saturday evening that was in the [inaudible], pouring rain, so a real dangerous place to be on the FDR Drive around 53rd Street. I think everybody knows that roadway and it’s actually a covered roadway but it was really a deluge. On Sunday we had another demonstration, it started at Times Square, went down to Bryant Park, went to Herald Square, went to 23rd Street and 5th Avenue and ended up at Union Square. There are about 350 demonstrators. It started at 11 and ended up at around 3 o’clock. No major incidents, it was very orderly. So in total we have 65 total arrests. That is the four day recap and as we go through the week we are still going to be pulling resources from other precincts throughout the city to handle if there are any upcoming demonstrations, in addition to using SRG. So, so far as the Commissioner said, not too bad as long as we refrain from trying to take highways and bridges, there is no major disruptions. I think we will be able to get through this quite peacefully. I just want to thank all the police officers that have been assigned to this detail over the last four days. They’ve done a tremendous job so, Commissioner –
Commissioner Bratton: With that we can open up for questions relative to the presentation this morning on the first [inaudible] of the crime stats and subsequent to that we can open it up to other areas of interest that you might have. Steve—
Question: [Inaudible] Mr. Mayor you’ve talked about the effect that the NCO program had on crime. What stats can you point to show how the overall CrimeStat is having an effect? How do you know that program [inaudible]?
Mayor: Let me start and then let the experts weigh in. It’s a nascent program as you know, but I can tell you about my life in public service – when I talk to people all over the city and start to hear the same thing over and over and over again it’s a very powerful indicator to me. It’s my own form of public polling. And first of all, the enthusiasm of the NCO officers is unbelievable. I have had the real pleasure of talking with a lot of them about their work. When you hear them, the only word you can say is it’s joyful. They are thrilled that they are connecting much more deeply to the communities they serve. They feel more effective but these are people who have devoted their lives to this profession. And they are beginning to do it on the highest level and they are feeling tremendous support from the communities they serve. One of the things I’ve talked about over the last few days is everyone wants respect. Everyone wants encouragement and support. And our officers who are part of the NCO program are getting that. And second, the number of examples we have already of leads being given to officers, tips, information that was turned into arrests that was used to prevent crime. Just the anecdotal body of evidence is so powerful for a nascent program. It suggests to me that there is tremendous possibility in this. So I would put it in the context of the whole peace dividend discussion. One element of the peace dividend is reducing negative encounters and often unnecessary encounters to keep an open and positive channel between police and community. But the second and even more powerful piece in it is building friendships, relationships – bond between police and community. Then everyone is wearing the same uniform at that point.
Commissioner Bratton: The analysis is at this point largely anecdotal that the many Neighborhood Coordinating Officers have had the opportunity [inaudible] – the many, many community meetings that I go to and interact with where they are being constantly referenced. The moral standpoint – that they are all volunteer officers. These are officers who willingly, routinely throughout the day are giving out their cellphone numbers, their email addresses for people to reach out to them. They like being problem solvers and they are an essential part of the neighborhood policing program that we’re putting in place here. They are an essential part of the neighborhood policing program I put back in Boston in 1977, 1978. And they are modeled after the Senior Lead Officer program in Los Angeles, a program that was extraordinarily successful in building bridges into the community. And I am very pleased with the early results of it. We will be in a position – because we now have developed a polling capability that will be launching very soon – to reach in to the various neighborhoods and poll how are we doing – and to hear from the public in those neighborhoods; to reach out to our officers more routinely how are we doing? What do we need to improve? So, more than anecdotal we’ll also then have some actual polling that we’ll be relying on. We’ll be one of the first departments in America – I think the first department in America to have citywide polling capabilities that we’ll drill down to the neighborhood level in a very, very intimate way and a very routine way. So that’s the – one of the rollouts of the neighborhood policing initiative here that the Mayor has been very actively supporting and encouraging.
Mayor: Hold on, hold on – Chief?
Chief O’Neill: David, we can get you stats for the program as a whole and for precincts also. Violence-wise they are doing tremendously – response times, we’re knocking off a huge chunk of time responding to 3-1-1 and 9-1-1 jobs. And as the Mayor and the Commissioner said, a lot of what we hear is anecdotal, but if you do talk to the cops they are excited about the program. They are given the opportunity to do what we’ve been asking them to do for years and years and years. They have the time during the course of the day not just to respond to 9-1-1 jobs, but to actually make that connection. So, we’ll get the stats to you.
Question: [Inaudible] why do you think it’s taking this long to be applied to New York?
Mayor: I think the stars have aligned in the sense of when I think back to the different versions – obviously I give Commissioner Bratton tremendous credit for what he started in Boston, what he started in LA – but I think the previous efforts of this City were inconsistent. I think they were noble. I certainly believe they well-intended, but they weren’t sustained and they weren’t consistent. And it takes a unity of leadership to achieve it. I won’t comment on the experiences the Commissioner had in the early 1990s. I have tremendous respect for him and I think a lot of times his good work was not understood by the person he worked for, but in this time the Commissioner and I and Chief O’Neill – the whole leadership team – we’re highly unified. We respect each other, we understand each other, we – from all different life experiences have come together in a very common philosophy and strategy. And I think when you have that a lot is possible. We have been able to apply the resources – another part of it. You know, the kinds of things we’re talking about here, the training and all the other elements that we’re talking about they cost money and it takes a real sustained resource commitment. So – and obviously officers were key. And I remember when Chief O’Neill first presented the early vision of this, it was quite clear it will take a lot of personnel and we went through a very rigorous process to make the strategic decision that that would be a budget priority. So, when I say the stars aligned I think it’s – you know – unity among all of us, the resources are there, the agreement on the vision and a recognition that it was a perfect companion piece to the reduction in the negative interactions between police and community – that if you just took away the negative you weren’t going far enough. You had to create the positive. We’re going to be at this a long time and I think this one – this is going to be the vision of neighborhood policing that finally stuck and finally was sustained.
Question: [Inaudible] mentioned domestic crime being a driver in the Bronx – being on the rise. I’m wondering how you’re thinking about that and why the Bronx? Why now?
Commissioner Bratton: Let me speak to that. Back in 1994, when I was commissioner the last time, that as we were developing the strategies to deal with the identified problems back then – domestic violence, which is often times referred to as the hidden crime because it really not had been addressed in any significant way in the 70s and 80s – that basically the analysis we did of crimes being reported to us. We created the position of Domestic Violence Officer – one of our eight strategies was domestic violence because we found based on surveys that a woman was six times more likely to be assaulted in her home than on the streets of a very violent New York at that time. Also, where you have domestic violence directed against the woman, you have it against the elderly, you have it against the children, and you have it against the animals – pets in the house. And each precinct was authorized, back then, three domestic violence officers. Some of our precincts now have six of eight because of their workload. Precinct commanders are allowed to determine how many they need. Additionally, Susan Herman, whose been leading our Collaborative Strategies Program, proposed to me and then I proposed to the Mayor in the budget process and he approved in the City Council – we will have in addition to those domestic violence offices, victim advocates in each of our precincts – two of them in each precinct initially. They will be hired from many of the agencies that provide that type of service. So recognizing the continuing problem that we are actually expanding the resources that we’re going to focus on that effort. Public housing has a very significant problem with that. The Bronx, as evidence by Dermot’s presentation, at this particular time has a very significant problem with it. We’re identifying it; we’re committing to working on it. And it is not just the police response we are dealing with, through the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice all the related agencies that have to be involved in this. So, I’m very excited about it. It’s – we’re getting much better in identifying a problem and getting a whole lot better with dealing with the problem.
Question: But why now? And why the Bronx in particular? Is there any sort of think behind that?
Deputy Commissioner Shea: What I can tell you is that when you look at our overall domestic crime -- the entire increase for the year is surpassed by the increase in the Bronx this year. And trying to pinpoint exactly why – the answer is no I have not been able to. Just jumping on the Commissioner’s statement there, you know, it’s affecting right now the areas that we see it is predominantly – I would categorize it as lower to middle income. You’re talking about neighborhoods where the police are responding – and aren’t just the police – we’re taking on responsibilities, we’re the counselors, we’ve become the locksmith in many times. So, there’s a lot of [inaudible] coming out of this. Our services are being provided, but getting to the root of the problem, I would concur with the Commissioner that this is not solely a police issue – that the struggle and the frustration, if you will on my part personally, is that these again are cases – it’s very similar to the rapes, the 92 percent of rapes that we talk to. We know from the start if Carlos’ officers aren’t making arrests on the scene that Bob Boyce’s detectives are making arrests on these types of cases. But for a variety of reasons – frankly, very complex reasons – these cases; the ultimate conclusion and resolution of this may not be in the criminal justice system. And these cases are often falling apart for a variety of reasons.
Question: You mentioned you’ve been to plenty of community meetings and you’ve talked about this disconnect in past crime briefings that some folks in New York still say I hear those numbers but I don’t feel safe. Have you experienced a [inaudible] change on that part? Are people starting to embrace these numbers and tell you that they feel safer? Or are you still hearing that in neighborhoods –
Commissioner Bratton: That’s what our polling will be all about. Right now, we rely on Quinnipiac, Siena, and quite frankly the accuracy of those polls, depending on when they take the poll what’s going on in the City at that particular time. I think a lot of the feeling of [inaudible] about crime in the City has to do with a lot of the street people – some of the behavior they see out in the streets because our numbers certainly don’t reflect that this is an unsafe city. I’m sorry – I was here in 1990 when it was a very unsafe city and beginning there with Mayor Dinkins and the hiring of 6,000 cops and then the work I was able to do with Mayor Giuliani continuing on through. And again, for 26 years we’ve been documenting crime going down every year. You can’t argue that this was a more dangerous city when we had 2,245 murders in 1990, and this year we will be running close to about 315, 320. We had over 5,600 people shot in the streets of New York and this year we’re batting close to 1,000 by the time we finish the year. So, this feeling – this reporting to the pollsters we don’t get it because as we look at these numbers in an exhaustive way, the patient is getting healthier all the time – the patient being the City of New York. This is where we were so insistent and the Mayor has been so supportive of allowing [inaudible] to polling. We need to get into each of these communities on a block by block basis and see what’s going on. That’s why the importance for the neighborhood coordinating officer to put a face and a personality onto the New York City Police Department in every one of these neighborhoods – and that type of intimacy because the numbers – I just don’t understand it when we’re reporting these types of numbers. Maybe it’s the fact we have so many newcomers to this city – over half the population wasn’t here in 2000.
Question: So, you’re not disputing it, you hear it from folks?
Commissioner Bratton: All the time, all the time whether it’s with the ‘multi-gazzillionaires’ or some of the community meetings I go to where people certainly aren’t ‘multi-gazzillionaires’ whether its dinner parties on Park Avenue or church basements up in Harlem. I have done over 600 meetings in the last two years around these issues and you hear it all the time. And it frustrates us because those cops are out there working very, very heard. The numbers should speak for themselves. So, whether it’s in terms of how you guys report it in the media, what people see and feel in their particular neighborhood. If we’re so unsafe why are those 60 million tourists coming here every year? If we’re so unsafe – we talked about this morning 104,000 jobs have been created around the movie and television industry that will spend $9 billion in this city with 56 television shows being produced here. Do you think they would be doing it here if they felt unsafe in these streets? There is a disconnect and if you can figure it out let me know – I’d like you to explain it to me.
Question: Commissioner, you mentioned a short while ago how the violence pictured in other major U.S. cities is quite opposite of what you’re seeing in New York City. Have you given any more thought as to what’s going on in those other cities and have any of the police officials in the other cities come to you for guidance as to what might be done?
Commissioner Bratton: We have an organization called the Major Cities Chief Organization – the 75 largest cities in Canada in the United States. And we meet a number of times. We actually hosted the meeting here several months ago. So, we do tend to take a look at what each other is doing – what’s working, what’s not working. And so we’re very proud to present – when they were here – the technology that Dermot talked about, the smartphone stuff that we have here. And we have offered to any of our colleagues around the country anything we have we will more than happy to share with you – CompStat 2.0, the computer system that we have. We are very fortunate the Mayor has been extraordinarily generous in my three years now working with him to this department. There is nothing I have asked for that I haven’t received. He puts me through the ringer sometimes including getting those 1,300 cops – Jimmy O’Neill had hair when we started this process and you can see what’s left of it after justifying those 1,300 cops. But we’re getting them and – each city is different. Think of it from a medical perspective, Chicago, why is it so bad there? Every city is different. And as a Commissioner, my colleagues, Chiefs of Police, we’re like doctors. We’re still practicing the police profession, we haven’t perfected it yet. And we’re learning from each other, but the good news for New York City is that we’ve got more resources than most places, we’re having more success than most places, and even better it is an uninterrupted continuation of crime decline and order patrol.
And the debate around the country right now dealing with all the issues of concern – the disconnect between police and community – everything that is being recommended as I have read all of the stories and listened to all the interviews – everything that I being recommended we are doing. President’s Commission, we had basically implemented before that commission report came out. The [inaudible] recommendations on use-of-force, we have one of the most comprehensive sets of use-of-force in the United States. On use-of-force by our police offices, 36,000 in a city of eight-and-a-half million people – last year we had 33 combat incidents in which our officers engaged in a combat situation on the streets of New York – 33 with 36,000 cops. Yet every year we spend an exhaustive amount of time training them, why? Because it works, because we reduce the numbers of shootings. So, we try to learn from each other all the time. I’m constantly – I’ll beg, borrow, and steal from anybody – always with attribution. The Senior Lead Officer program effectively being, quite frankly, what I have done here in New York with the Mayor’s strong support is I’ve married the LAPD and the NYPD – taking the best of what they were doing, Senior Lead Officer program, training and brought it here. And given back to LA some of the things I’ve found when I got back here. So, we’re constantly exchanging ideas and systems. Jimmy just [inaudible] Seattle to look at their bicycle program to deal with the demonstrations. We’re in the process of buying 300 bicycles so that our Senior Response Group you’re going to see them riding around with the bicycles on their trucks. So, when we have a demonstration I can put 300 cops out on bicycles to keep up with the demonstrators. We’re constantly learning and this is a learning department and it’s a learning profession.
Question: For Chief Boyce, so many [inaudible] are talking about heroin epidemic. What is the situation with heroin use in the city?
Chief O’Neill: Okay, there’s been a major [inaudible] change if you will from where heroin is coming from. It is coming from Colombia and Mexico where it was from East Asia. [Inaudible] is bringing more into the country than it ever has before. The quality of that heroin has changed dramatically. It used to be around 10 percent, now it is up to 60 percent. So, it’s creating more and more – we’re losing more and more lives on overdoses. So, that’s the issue in a really tight nutshell; more heroin, more powerful, coming into the country – couple that with the opioid abuse and it increases there. There’s the issue, so it is up to us right now and heroin is still sold for about $10 an increment in New York City as it was back in the 70s. However, now it’s even more potent and more destructive than it ever was before. So, we’re trying to define [inaudible]. You see some of those [inaudible] that we have on the opioids next door – all the pills there – they are all interconnected. As I said before, each one of my detectives from Narco and the Detective Squad take the case. We had a case last weekend in Brooklyn North I believe it was where we were able to make three arrests from the suppliers by just going to the house responding to that overdose. That’s the kind of work I want done and it is being done right now. We’ve closed out small cases and we’re working on large cases as well. So, there’s the issues [inaudible] right there. And it is across the country by the way.
Question: Do you think the gang takedowns or [inaudible] involved in buying and selling?
Chief O’Neill: My biggest fear is that the gangs get into heroin sales right now. So, we’re trying to stop that by going through this right now. Right now, the gangs are violence and its violence driven – it’s shooting and stabbings. For the most part, the heroin is something quite different. Those are the narcotic organizations that we detailed where we’ve taken down the 17 cases down. So, that’s where that comes from. Right now, they are not together, we’re hoping they never come together as they did with crack/cocaine.
Question: For the Mayor, the Police Commissioner just said he doesn’t understand people feel unsafe, do you?
Mayor: I think it is a couple of different things. I think people respond to their own very personal experience. The fact is even as we’re making tremendous progress, if something happens in your community, that looms very large in your mind. So, we’ll look at these numbers, it means many fewer things are happening, but even one incident can cause people a lot of concern. So, I think that is a normal human reality. I do think bad news travels a lot faster than good news, so when you see a lot of bad news it’ll make you unsettled. But I will say at the same time, plenty of people come up to me and talk about changes they have experienced. I’ve certainly had parents and I’ve had young men come up to me and talk about what it is like not to be stopped all the time and how that has changed their lives for the better. I have – as I mentioned – folks come up and talk about what it is like to know the officer in their community and what a change that is and how much they appreciate that. So, I certainly can say there is plenty of times when people do recognize progress and do recognize that these efforts mean something for their lives personally; and every time there’s a tremendous appreciation when people see the CRC out there, and CRG, ESU – the units that are out there protecting them at major events. You know, I get a lot of appreciation for that – the sense of the sheer strength and presence of the NYPD keeps us safe and [inaudible]. We have these huge events that come off so beautifully. And then there are a lot of times people will come up to me and say how important it is to see the presence of the NYPD. So, I don’t think it is a one way street, but I think it motivates us to keep going because, as you’ve heard everyone up here say, I commend the Commissioner and Chief O’Neill and – as Dermott said in the presentation, we are all confident that we’re going to go farther. That is not a typical thing you find from leaders to sit before you and say we’re convinced. We’ve only just gotten started, we’re going to go farther we’re going to make the city safer. I think people are going to feel that for sure.
Commissioner Bratton: Let me expand on that for just a moment in terms of one of the – certainly my belief – one of the causes of then increased concern is social media – you understand it in your world how your world has changed, so dramatically. It used to be going on 5 o’clock deadlines, 11 o’clock deadlines – now, it’s every minute is a deadline for you. So, social media – when I began in this business in the 70s I used to go to community meetings armed to the teeth with my stats as I now still do 40 years later. And back in those days I went to some of the most crime ridden neighborhoods of Boston – the South End, Back Bay areas. And many of the people who came to my community meetings were not even aware of the serious crimes that I was investigating – murders, robberies, etcetera. They weren’t aware of it because the newspaper – so much of them weren’t reporting it all. And at that time newspapers and TV were the principle means of communication in some of the most crime-ridden neighborhoods, people didn’t talk with each other, so they were not even aware sometimes in their building there had been a burglary. What has changed now is everything gets out there very, very quickly. So, we dealing with some of the sentiment and that’s why we’ve invested so much in social media to try and tell our story, because we can’t rely on you because it is just too much news to get out there. So, we have to effectively try to get to get out there. In response to your question, a driving force of it is social media. It’s changing so much in so many of our lives in so many ways.
Commissioner Bratton: Is for me – the events of the last week are a reinforcement that the Mayor and I are on the right track and have been in the 30 months we’ve worked together. Predating our own horrific incident – the murders of Detectives Liu and Ramos – as you are well aware because many of you have covered us for these 30 months, we began to bring about reformation that we summarized after the reengineering process and the five T’s – the idea of technology building on the platform of trust. We’ve talked about it for 30 months about the need to pushback on stop-question-and-frisks, to start regaining trust, but as the Mayor just talked about – once we push down on that we got to replace it with something and the Neighborhood Coordinating Officers [inaudible] program. So, effectively for 30 months we have been engaged in exactly what everybody is calling out for now to try to address the crisis in America. Better training for cops – there is no police department in America, bar none – and I don’t have any fear of being repudiated on this, it is doing more training focused on the issues whether it is implicit bias, whether it is dealing with the emotionally disturbed, no place does more training than this place guaranteed. Similarly, equipment – no place is equipping officers better than this place whether it is the vest, the trauma kits, the ballistic doors on the cars – no place is doing it better than we’re doing. On the technology, no place is doing it better than we’re doing here. And on the trust-building, I am convinced that what Jimmy and Carlos are designing will in fact bring about that trust as officers go forward. So, the events of the last week, to me, are just a reaffirmation and a reinforcement that what the Mayor and I gave been engaged in for the last 30 months that we’re not only on the right path, we’re on the only path by which we can get to a destination where we want to bring people together to close that divide, not just bridge it – to close the damn thing. And I’m – again, I’m encouraged, being quite frank with you, by what I have just seen over the past week in terms of what we’re doing here in New York and with some of my colleagues around the country in other cities are doing. The Chief of Dallas was applauded over this past week about how great a job they’re doing with community policing. I know that Chief, I know what they are doing. I know this city; I know what we’re doing. And a lot of what they’re being complimented for we’re doing here and then some. And that’s what’s going on in American cities. I’m blessed that I have a lot of colleagues around the country who are committed to getting this right.
Mayor: And just – let me just quickly add to that. You know, Bill Bratton started a lot of this thinking long ago. And it has become the dominant strain in much of American policing that we have to bring neighborhoods and police together. And you could look at these tragedies as a reason for pessimism or cynicism, or you could look at it as time a [inaudible] call that we have to get it right. It’s our generation’s time to get this right, and I think it’s the latter. I tried to talk about that over the weekend, that we in this time. we have finally the tools to address these challenges. The stain of racism underlies all of this. It’s being talked about in a way it never has before – literally in American history, never been so blunt a discussion of racism and what it’s meant to our country. And it is allowing us to finally look in the face the things we need to change. On top of that, we have the tools the Commissioner just laid out that really allow us to make the change. And we have willing partners – again, the officers, not just here but around the country – who recognize the need to build a different relationship with the community. The community members who want to have a different and better relationship with officers. You see it over and over – the grieved families calling for peace, calling for respect for our police even in their pain, again, the police who sheltered and shielded the protestors while bullets were raining down. The protestors who had a minute of silence for the police officers lost. There’s plenty of indication that people want to find a way forward, but there’s also a clear reality – we have to find a way forward. We don’t have any other choice but to work this out. I’ve felt – I’ve tried to talk about this the last few days – I feel like history tries to drag us down. You know, we’ve got to break the chains of that history, and I think this team here – I’m so proud of all of them because they’re doing all of that in the biggest city in the country.
Question: In case there will be more demonstrations in New York, are you preparing for that with special preparations?
Commissioner Bratton: [Inaudible] we’re a city that has demonstrations all the time. But the lessons learned back in December and January of 2014 and ‘15 have really shaped what we’ve done over the last two years – the creation of the Strategic Response Group, the vehicles, the equipment, now the continuation of the purchase of the bicycles. We get better and better all the time in trying to adjust to how demonstrations are changed because of social media. Demonstrations that are led by Twitter – anybody with a smartphone can basically get a demonstration going and move it around, so we’re getting better and better at that all the time. In terms of this city, we’re very fortunate with the large amount of resources we have that one we have unity of command – I don’t have to depend on 20 police departments coming together to try and police a demonstration, which is one of the most difficult things of police to deal with. Bad enough when I have one police department, but when you have – as you’ve seen around the country – 20 or 30 trying to coalesce and come together and have unity of command, it’s very difficult. We are prepared to deal with whatever we have. What we ask of the demonstrators is – we’ll work with you. We’ll work with you to demonstrate. Do it peacefully, though. Do it in a way that you don’t try to provoke the officers that you’re not their consciously trying to create a provocation on the part of our officers where they over react and then ‘aha’ a gotcha moment. We’ll work with you. We’ll try to give you as much breathing room as possible. We’re known for that. That’s what we work for. We plan for the best, but also plan on – unfortunately – to deal with the worst. This past week I think we can celebrate in this city demonstrators – police, and community alike – that we have had demonstrations with no violence, no vandalism, no damage. People have been able to get on the news – the news capital of the world. That’s great, get your message across. I think the message gets across a lot more when you’re not engaging in violence. It’s a positive message.
Question: Commissioner Bratton, as you know, much has been made about the recent comments made by Mayor Giuliani in his attempt to defend police officers. As you and I both know, because we were there in the 90s, he’s made that argument in the past that black on black crime within the community poses a greater risk to African-American New Yorkers or citizens than any sort of police misconduct. Do you believe that those comments were motivated by racism by former Mayor Giuliani? And separately, to you and Mayor de Blasio, how to you explain or process your differences in opinion about the Black Lives Matter movement? Do you think that those are a function of your separate job descriptions?
Mayor: I just will start on that and then pass to the Commissioner. I think we have a tremendous commonality on the changes that are need in our city and in our society. That’s what we’re working on every day. I think when you talk about the different protests out there you have to look at – it’s a lot of different people. It’s not one monolith. There are people who come to these protests – and they are a very small minority in my view – but they come to disrupt. To pick up on the Commissioner’s previous point, they come to provoke, they come to make violence, they come to denigrate police, and I have only disdain for them. And they do not represent any appreciable number of people in this country or this city. I think hateful speech towards the police is absolutely unacceptable, and obviously anything that provokes violence is unacceptable, but that’s a very small number. I’ve had long conversations with my colleagues here about what they’ve seen at different demonstrations, and it’s a very small number that cause a very tremendous amount of trouble for everyone else. If you look at the New York City experience and around the country, the vast majority of protests are by law-abiding people respecting the specific instruction of the police, who are trying to get a point across as the Commissioner said. From my point of view, when you say Black Lives Matter, you’re talking about a very broad, diffused, decentralized movement; the core of which I think has hit the right note. The very phrase ‘Black Lives Matter’ is a necessary part of the national discussion. It has helped us to recognize that sadly our history over and over again did not value African-Americans. From what I’ve seen of the movement, the vast majority of people have gone about it in the right way. I don’t have to agree with them on everything, but they’ve gone about it the right way. So I would separate from my point of view, the intolerable form of protest – the type that – I was at plenty of protests in my day too, and we also went exactly the other way from the provocateurs and the people who as the commissioner said undermined the whole message, undermined the whole idea. How many times have you turned on the TV and seen these protests and seen grandmothers and mothers with children? Those are not the people causing the problem here. It’s a small minority.
So my answer is – I look at it as a broader, positive movement with some individuals around it who have done the wrong thing. But if this is part of sparking the dialogue we’ve needed to have for a long time, that’s a good thing. In terms of the work we’re doing, the commissioner and I are in as much unity as I’ve ever seen two people be working on something of this importance. We talk almost every day, and we share life’s mission really. I have tremendous admiration for how he’s given his entire life to keeping people safe and addressing this history. I don’t think it’s given the credit it deserves, but one way to think about Bill Bratton’s career is he’s gone right at the problem of race in America over and over and over in a very bold way. In a way that’s made a huge difference. So I think we’re in tremendous strategic unity. I do have a perspective of any movement as someone who’s been involved in movements. That might be different from someone who wasn’t, but I think in terms of the work we’re very unified.
Commissioner Bratton: I’m struck by your question about the idea of our response, comments to demonstrations in the case of – at the moment – Black Lives Matter movement that is relative to the functioning job responsibilities. In some respects, it is. As my position as police commissioner, as a lifelong [inaudible] of the police profession – a profession I’m very proud of – I have an obligation, I believe, to speak on behalf of the men and women I represent in this department and the men and women – the 850,000 in American policing. I have no concerns at all about Black Lives Matter – the name or the organization – or the focus on the concerns of Black Lives Matter. We have all types of organizations. I have unions that focus on the concerns of police officers. I’ve just referenced, I’m speaking on my concerns about my particular profession. But the issue of concern I have is when an organization – any organization – seeks to stereotype, define us, stereotype us. I’ve given a lot of thought to this over this last week or so because it’s just brought back the horrific issues of 2014 and ‘15 – the deaths of Ramos and Liu. I had hoped that out of that awful tragedy would come great progress in this city in the sense that marches and demonstrations and some of those marches and demonstrations in which some of the anarchists and some of the provocateurs had taken over and tried to steal the message, if you will. Let me just read two paragraphs to you if I may as I’ve thought about this because I don’t want to extemporaneously talk about it and then try to have you parse it or phrase it. Let me just give you some quick thoughts about the issue as it relates to the stereotyping of the members of my profession – a profession I think has done phenomenal good for this country. We just talked about it this morning. This profession has been a significant catalyst for profound change in improving the safety for 8.5 million people of all colors in this city. So just bear with me for a moment please.
The germ that allows racism to grow is the stereotype, the painting with a wide brush against a race, a color, or a religion. When you have protestors who are claiming police are racist, all police are racist, or that cops are cold blooded killers, you have the same construct. There are 36,000 cops in New York City. There are 850,000 of us across the country. They come in all races and colors, especially in New York. To call them racist – all of them – or killers – all of them – is to commit the same sin they are protesting. You can’t say that people are bad because they are blue. In New York the police are half-white, and the other half is Hispanic, Black, Asian, Muslim, and statistically they use less force, fire their weapons fewer times than any other major city in America, and more than half of them live in this city with their families. We don’t bring them in from Mars, we don’t bring them in from them the moon. They’re born and raised here. Many of them come from other countries and choose to live here. That doesn’t sound like a racist band of killers to me. Do they make mistakes in split second decisions, they certainly do. But fewer times than most departments and even overall across the country, in all departments the number of incidents is relatively small compared to all the instances they deal with. Every invested time and training in dealing with bias, even subconscious, implicit we certainly have. Every invested time and training in how to deescalate situation. We certainly have – in fact, I think we’re ahead of the rest of American policing in that regard in terms of the profession. I understand many other departments are doing the same thing we’re attempting to do. The vast majority of police officers go to work every day to try and help people and make a difference, so there is some frustration when they are lumped together as a group and called racist by protesters. One of your newspapers reported on a demonstrator – a white woman at a demonstration over the weekend – stepped out of the line of march, went up in the face of one of my officers, and screamed murderer at that officer. Murderer – a cop who was there protecting her right to scream and basically disparage him. Do we feel less frustration when African-American males are shot more often than any other group in the city in crimes? We certainly do. I get a message every time a person is shot in this city – every time a person is murdered – every time a person is raped in this city. It’s very disconcerting to me that the majority of them in this city, unfortunately that the victims are minorities, and the perpetrators are minorities. I feel it every time the vibrating goes off and I take that Blackberry out and here it is another victim. As do my cops who actually go to the scene and deal with that. Do I feel frustrated by a flood of guns coming from other states with lax gun laws into our streets that fuel this violence? I do, and my cops do. Is it hard to bring justice in these cases because 38 percent of our shooting victims refuse to cooperate with the police? They won’t talk with us. Yes, that is frustrating but no one seems to be marching against that. So when I see marches, many of whom don’t even live in the communities focused on [inaudible] only on the narrow issue of shootings by police, which in New York is rare by comparison – 33 shootings, 36,000 cops in a year in a city of 8.5 million people. I say there’s a different kind of bigotry because like all prejudices, it is based on stereotypes and labels.
What was need is dialogue and over the weekend that’s what I talked about with Secretary Johnson. That’s what I talked about last night in my comments to ABC radio because dialogue works, collaboration works. There is a place and time for demonstrations, but what we did in this particular point in time is to move beyond demonstrations, try to find common ground, and engage in dialogues because it’s the dialogue that’s going to make the difference. The marches might be the catalyst, but marches as an end in themselves will not bring it about. You have to move from being in a demonstration to sitting at a table and talking it though. This kind of poisoned talks – of calling police as a profession murderers or racists – are the kind of generalizations that spew hate not solutions. We saw that in New York in 2014 with the murder of my new detectives, and we saw it last week with the murder of five police officers in Dallas. That contributes to the murder of those dietetics and those officers. Are we perfect as a profession? No, we make mistakes. Sometimes when we do they’re doozies. This is a conversation that needs to be had – that’s for sure. But a broad brush attack on police in general, or taking New York police – and I speak on behalf of them as their commissioner – to [inaudible] for things that occur in other cities is not the way to get value out of those conversations. What we need to do is have those conversations and have those conversations in the way that we get value out of them.
I’m sorry for that, but it needed to be said. I’ve been in this for 45 years. I came into this business at the time of demonstrations. Some of my first duties were policing the anti-war demonstrations in front of the federal building in Boston while I was attending college in the day time with the same kids who were demonstrating on the other side of the line. When I put on my blue uniform it hurt to be basically yelled at and screamed at and not understood, and I think you’ve all heard me talk about Sweet Alison Los Angeles commenting on why I think I had some success with minority issues in Los Angeles. He said ‘you know why we like you Chief Bratton, you see us.’ And I used that phrase during the Ramos and Liu murder. The idea is we need to see each other. We need to see police not as racist and bigots and murderers. Unfortunately some are. You will find them, and we will deal with them – but not 850,000 of them, and not 36,000 of them. Much the same as there is unfortunately so much crime in the black community but are all 40 million blacks in America criminals? Not at all. Unfortunately too many of them are victims. So we need to see each other. We need to hear each other. And it’s hard to see each other in demonstrations when they’re yelling and screaming and not wanting to listen and only to be heard.
Mayor: I want to just note that I appreciate what the Commissioner said, and in the vein of people not seeing – the other part of your question was about Rudy Giuliani. And I’ll just say something brief. I think the commissioner has views on this as well. I don’t know why he has chosen for decades to divide people, but sadly that’s what his body increasingly is. He says things that cause pain and divide people, and it’s not helpful. It’s not helping to move this city forward or move America forward. And I thought the Daily News cover was very powerful today. I want to commend the Daily News for putting it in very stark terms, but no there are so many families in this country – families of color – trying to do the right thing, children of color trying to do the right thing, and they should not be denigrated by Rudy Giuliani.
Commissioner Bratton: The only thing I would add to it is you’ll have to really speak to Mayor Giuliani about his comments. I’ve tried to share with you my perspectives and views on this issue. We all have views and perspectives, and we have to be in a position – in a sense – to explain them, to justify them, so I’m not going to try and seek to do that for him. I’m more than happy to speak on terms of my comments and my opinions and my perspectives that we are a country that celebrates freedom and the ability to speak our minds, and quite obviously over the weekend he spoke his mind. Basically it’s like me trying to explain my comments over the weekend, the mayor certainly will have to try and explain his.
Question: Mayor, do you agree with the black [inaudible] organize a protest and [inaudible] people speaking out about black crimes [inaudible.]
Mayor: The – my simple message would be – every day in all communities there are people working to stop crime. There are people speaking out. There are people working with the police. There are neighborhood patrols, tenant patrols. A story worth telling that is rarely told in this city is of all the people at the grassroots who have been a part of this quarter century of beating back time, so for everyone who has been out there – including many times at substantial risk to themselves – working against crime in their communities, organizing people, organizing against drug dealers, helping keep young people out of gangs – all of that is a form of renouncing violence and taking responsibility. That doesn’t hardly ever get the attention and respect it deserves. So, I think we need to pay a lot more attention to what people are actually doing to make their communities better.
Commissioner Bratton: [Inaudible] incident as a result of the new protocols initiated by the governor, the overall responsibility for the investigation of that manner and the ultimate conclusion is the responsibility of the Attorney General’s Office. They are being assisted by our Force Investigation Division, which has done a lot of work on that. The Department, yesterday, upon my instructions modified the officer involved in that shooting. As you know that means that his badge and gun has been taken pending resolution of the investigation. And on Friday, we had a presentation here that the Force Investigation did which normally gives in which they give us a preliminary review including videos that they had recovered as of that time. They are still seeking additional videos. They are still seeking identify the motorists who was parked – well not parked – but stopped at the red light that may have witnessed some of circumstances that occurred there. And we are also attempting to locate a witness that I think the Daily News had reported on the first day who reported a situation very different than the video portrays. I think the Daily News witness claimed that the officer was out of the vehicle when he shot the individual and that was not the case as clearly evident in the video that did finally surface. As you all are well aware these things – the reason we use the term preliminary is the first story is never the last story. This one is one that is continually changing, but we will investigate it to the best of our abilities which are extensive and we will work with the guidance of the AG’s office on that.