Police Commissioner Bill Bratton has spoken out against the actions of the police officers who spontaneously turned their backs to Mayor de Blasio at the funeral of Officer Rafael Ramos. "I certainly don't support that action," Bratton said on CBS' Face The Nation. "That funeral was held to honor Officer Ramos. And to bring politics, to bring issues into that event, I think, was very inappropriate."
Bratton expounded on the growing tension between the NYPD and the mayor's office, noting on NBC's Meet The Press that the rift will likely go on for some time more: "However, we will be making efforts to sit down and talk with the union leaders in particular to deal with their issues," he said, adding that a "lot less rhetoric and a lot more dialogue" will be needed to bring the two sides together. As it is, some pundits are already wondering whether de Blasio's accomplishments from his first year in office are starting to be eclipsed by his fight with the police force.
Bratton also discussed the larger "pent-up frustrations" that he believes are fueling the protests in the wake of the Michael Brown and Eric Garner grand jury decisions, which go beyond the NYPD: "This is about the continuing poverty rates, the continuing growing disparity between the wealthy and the poor. It's still about unemployment issues. There are so many national issues that have to be addressed that it isn't just policing, as I think we all well know," he said.
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."
Rudy Giuliani, who has had experience being on both ends of a police union-fueled protest of City Hall, showed a remarkable amount of reasonableness (for him) on Face The Nation, saying it was wrong for officers to turn their backs on de Blasio or to try to blame him for officers' deaths.
Of course, because this is Giuliani we're talking about, he added that de Blasio still owes the NYPD an apology because he "created an impression with the police that he was on the side of the protesters."