Question: [inaudible] calling for uniformed police officers not to participate in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade?
Mayor: I believe that uniformed city workers have a right to participate if they choose to, and I respect that right. Yes?
Question: Just to follow up on Emily’s question, I think that there’s a difference between allowing city workers on their own personal time to march in a parade and having them show up in uniform with signs saying ‘City of New York Police Department.’ So if we have a little bit more about your thinking on that, and are you planning to attend the parade?
Mayor: I’ve said what I think. I respect the right of our City workers to march in uniform – period. And no, I am not planning on marching in the parade, I haven’t in the past in my capacity as an elected official. I will be participating in a number of other events to honor the Irish heritage of this city and the contributions of Irish Americans. But I simply disagree with the organizers of that parade in their exclusion of some individuals in this city. Thanks – OK, go ahead.
"Apart from being an optimist I guess I’m a glutton for punishment," Bill Bratton told reporters Wednesday evening after speaking at New York University.
Bratton was head of the NYPD under mayor Rudy Giuliani in his first term and left after a falling out with his boss. He went to lead the police department in Los Angeles and is now a consultant in the private sector. He advised a number of mayoral candidates including Democratic mayoral nominee Bill de Blasio, who leads his Republican rival by more than 40 points in recent public opinion polls.
Bratton said he has not spoken directly with de Blasio about the job and has not considered whether he is up for it.
"There was never a discussion about the commissioner’s position," he said.
Later, I asked Bratton whether he agrees wifh Giuliani about de Blasio having an “anti-police” agenda.
"I did not detect that at all in any of my conversation with him," Bratton said.
He acknowledged de Blasio expressed concerns about some NYPD practices (the use of stop-and-frisk was one major theme he highlighted during the campaign) but “I dont detect any of that as anti-police.” He added “I don’t detect any anti-police feelings or bias to my exposure to Mr. de Blasio.”
After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the head of the NYPD’s Intelligence Unit, David Cohen, a former C.I.A. official, sought an expansion of those rules from a federal judge. In a letter to the court, Cohen was clear in the need to get rid of the requirement for “specific information.”
"The determination of whether or not there is specific information suggesting criminal activity may be a difficult one," he wrote. He added, "This criminal activity requirement as a threshold for investigative authority may effectively shield from discovery the lawful predatory activities which invariably precede terrorist attacks. In the case of terrorism, to wait for an indication of crime before investigating is to wait far too long."
This afternoon, de Blasio will be on the City Hall steps with other lawmakers to announce a plan his office says will “dramatically reduce” the use stop-and-frisk.
De Blasio previewed his plan in an interview with the Times; it entails, among other things, a demand that the mayor “request an internal audit by the Police Department of its statistics on what occurs after each stop-and-frisk episode.”
An earlier attempt to curb the use of stop-and-frisks by NYPD officers actually wound up increasing use of the tactic. In a lengthy (and worth-reading, if you haven’t already) look at the NYPD, Chris Smith of New York magazine quoted an unnamed Brooklyn officer who said the paperwork already generated from stop-and-frisks “is an easy way for supervisors to feed the statistical best, to show that action is being taken to deal with spikes in crime.”
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