Monday, December 22, 2014

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The Call Blog: Bratton Calls for NYPD Training Review; Politicians Call For More Oversight

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This case has really struck a chord with New Yorkers and for the third night in a row, we had every line ringing with those looking to voice their opinion. I think it's worth looking into both EMS and NYPD retraining after this case. Every second counts in these instances and we can't afford our emergency workers to be confused or unsure. It could be, and in this case was, a matter of life and death.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton says the NYPD will conduct a top-to-bottom review of all training provided to officers in the wake of the death of a Staten Island man after a police arrest. The Internal Affairs department is also investigating the death of Eric Garner. Bratton visited with community leaders on the Island today in hopes of addressing their concerns about the ongoing investigation.

Family and residents will gather tonight for a candlelight vigil to honor Garner. The 43-year-old suffered a fatal heart attack shortly after being wrestled to the ground by police for allegedly selling individual cigarettes. Earlier, lawmakers from the City Council, State Assembly and State Senate gathered on the steps of City Hall today to call for an inspector general investigation of NYPD conduct. They renewed a push to have all encounters between police and civilians be videotaped.

What's your reaction to Police Commissioner Bill Bratton meeting with community leaders on Staten Island today? Do you support this review of police training, policies, and procedures? What question do you want answered in this investigation? Should all police encounters with civilians be videotaped? How frequently do you see officers engaging in a physical confrontation with New Yorkers?

Send your thoughts using the link above.

I get chills when I watch the video of Mr. Garner being polite and later pleading for his life while laying on the ground. I have heard reports that Mr. Garner was trying to break up a fight moments before his incident.
Do you or your viewers know whether or not the autopsy will reveal if there was something that was going to
cause his passing suddenly even if he had been at home watching tv? All I can say is that Mr. Garner surely didn't put a choke hold on himself and the video speaks for itself.
P.S. Even at rodeos they don't try to choke hold the steer...sometimes they flip the steer and then tie the legs together. It is a shame that animals get better treatment than a man holding his hands up in the air. They couldn't say that he was like Amadou Diallo who was thought was reaching for a gun and not his wallet.

Throggs Neck

The death of Eric Garner was indeed very sad. Based on the video ,it appeared that the one police officer who put him in a chokehold was responsible for bringing him down to the ground,assisted by the other officers.We have the finest and bravest police department in the country,and 99 percent of our police officers are dedicated ,caring and professional in their everyday dealings with the public,and are to be commended. This unfortunate tragic incident involving Mr. Garner must and will be investigated by the District Attorney's office,and hopefully the entire truth regarding this incident will come out.Why didn't the EMTs who responed to this incident not render Mr. Garner medical aid immediately?He was heard saying on the video that he could not breath.Police Commissioner Bill Bratton is a hardworking professional,and we are very lucky to have him leading our police department.

Fresh Meadows

Like i said last night the officers and EMT workers involved in this case should all be suspended ASAP because they left Mr. Garner on the sidewalk to die, when he said he couldn't breathe they should of stopped, taken the handcuffs off and give him medical attention. My only question is why is Mayor Diblasio still on vacation he shouldn't of went to Italy he should be here this is very serious a man died in the hands of the NYPD and the EMT workers he was only selling loose cigarettes.No matter how much police training the NYPD get they would still arrest the minority people over stupid stuff because some white cops are RACISTS. Everyone that have a cam phone should film the NYPD when they make unfair arrests

Upper West Side

We have called for the resignation of the police commissioner, and now there's a call for an inspector general overseeing the death of Eric Garner for the NYPD and internal affairs will also conduct an internal investigation. The request for video cameras be used on all encounters between police and civilians.
So my question is just who is in charge?. What right does the the city council, state assembly and state senate members have to be in on all these demands. Sorry but this group needs the cameras on themselves and their antics.
So when they modified the stop and frisk why was this not brought up to the attention of the NYPD and their officers?
As far as I know we in my family have been told that if we are ever stopped just do as your told=follow orders.

Condolences from my family to the family of Eric Garner !!

Morris Park

I am fully confident that the NYPD training is sufficient. It is in the hands of the individual office that take the matter in to their own hands and abuse their power.


I beleive something similar happaned under Bratto about 20 years ago while he was in N.Y., all four officers should be discharged for participating with smiling faces in this murderous illegal act of choking Mr. Garner, also the 7 EMS personal should be at least charged with callous disregard of duty and the life of Mr.Garner. Also the PBA chief should resign for supporting this kind of action, he is to me most hated person in the Police Department, we all should rebel and for a week not to obey any police demand, requests,


Keep better tabs on the low level street criminals even if they are Hispanic and black.

Park Hill

My condolences to family of Eric garner.

I am a supporter of law, justice and the American way of life.

Two things are needed:
(1) Just raise the standards.
Put officers thru psychology tests.
Reward officers of equal rank for
taking charge. That will reduce a
repeat of this.

(2). Eric Garner needs ' justice be done.'
If a law was broken or policy not
Followed then enforce policy and
Deliver the punishment where
earned. Fire people if necessary.

Very sad day for New York.


This is good news. Bratton is now feeling some heat simple because Mr. Garner's murder was captured on video and the news media got a hold of it instead of him. Thank God!!! Very excited to hear the Internal Affairs Department involvement and I hope their first question will be...why was "Choke hold" omitted from the "arrest report"? It's been proven by the courts with thousands of tickets dismissed from Stop and Frisk, NYPD will lie under any circumstances to save their backsides and their pensions.

Make no mistake about it, Mr. Eric Garner was deceased within mins of being tackled to the ground. The audacity for them to play out their roles and pretend Mr. Garner was breathing, even when his eyes were CLEARLY rolled back into his head makes me want to scream. They ALL knew Mr. Garner was gone before he was placed on that gurney, so let's see how they ALL plan on sweeping this down under.

I recommend the Internal Affairs Department finds everyone involved with the death of Mr. Garner, be fired. Period. No second chance, no desk duty and absolutely, no pension. If any prison time can be added, that would be a awesome vacation.

Financial District.

The cops involved should be investigated. This kind of action didn't come from nowhere.

The kind of "crimes" committed by Mr. Garner are the root of the problem.
Why in the hell is it a crime to sell a cigarette? The seller owns it and the buyer pays. The action is voluntary. No one's rights are violated. It should be recognized as a free sale on a free market. Marijuana should be treated the same.

Port Richmond

It is rare that a Latino or Black policeman beats or kills someone . Is it racism , anger or just hatred ? I don't think that LA cop would have beat a white woman , no matter what LAW she broke !!


Too bad he was a poor Black man selling "loosies." If he had been a banker or hedge fund manager selling Credit Default Swaps and almost destroying our economy and definitely destroying no end of lives, he would have been treated like Royalty.

Bratton is a leave-over from the fascist, racist Guiliani reign of terror. If DeBlasio was a true Progressive he would NOT have hired this man.

East Village

My reaction to Bratton's meeting with community leaders is too little too late. The NYPD Academy provides top shelf training, particurlarly in tactics, probably the best in the country. These particular 120 cops broke every rule in the book. For Bratton to say that ALL officers need to be retrained is a joke. He is desperately trying to hold on to his job.

The day after the death of Mr. Garner, he stated that he does not expect his officers to back down from an arrest (even a bad arrest). When he came back to the dept. his m.o. was to cater to the Union presidents; in doing so, many highly qualified law enforcement officials were forced to retire because the "unions" didn't like bosses who made them do quality police work.

I do not feel safe having a commissioner that works 4 days a week; he does not take this job seriously. People in law enforcement know that he is not long for the job...hopefully this awful incident will hasten his departure. Chief Banks should have been appointed P.C. And my friends in L.A. were very happy to see him go. The only person who says Bratton is great is Bratton himself.

Regarding the flags on the Brooklyn Bridge; this used to be a fixed post. Our bridges are our most vulnerable locations for a terrorist hit. I highly doubt that this was someone's "art project".

Midtown East

This sort of behavior of NYPD will continue,unless officers who are being sued have to pay judgement out of pocket. It doesn't cost them a dime, nor effects them in a way where they would really think about their actions. As of now us tax payers are the one's who pay for their Malfeasance. Laws need to be changed so it will hit them where it hurts, in their POCKETS.

Prayers to Garner Family.


Bernie Madoff got better treatment than this low-level "criminal" did. The NYPD is sick, just sick.

Stuyvesant Town

People people! the policy of "broken windows" is racist in its connotation. Where do you find buildings with broken windows? In poor neighborhoods Who mostly inhabits poor neighborhoods in NYC? poor Black and Latino....


It is very sad, and most unfortunate, that this man died while officers were struggling to apprehend him. But before we all armchair quarterback the mistakes that may have been made by police, and first responders, if we go overboard in criticism, and punishment, all we are going to do is put our police force in an overall mindset, towards not reacting at all when it comes to crime, and apprehension. Trust me, as a New York City Correction Officer who works for a department that allows the inmates to rule, because it is to easy for an officer to be punished for excessive force, i ask the people of New York City: do we want our neighborhoods to be ruled by criminals for the very same reasons why they rule the confines of our jails.

Five Towns, NY

This Police Department is dangerously broken. One day we have gang of thugs beating to death a helpless victim. Next we have a prank involving flags placed strategically on a major bridge. They could've just as easily been terrorist bombs. The police as usual are clueless. The cops act like they've never been trained at all. What's worse, they don't seem to care. They have the attitude of “them versus us ", making every encounter with the community a potential conflict.

What is at the root of this incompetence and arrogance? It's probably that a significant percentage of the police force is on the payroll of organized crime. Think of the tons of illicit drugs that are sold in and pass through New York City every day. Those trans-actions can't occur without the cooperation of law enforcement. The Knapp Commission taught us that. In fact, It has been over 40 years since the Knapp Commission weeded out the corrupt players in the NYPD. It's time for some new gardening to pull corruption out by its roots in the NYPD.


The city council calling for the NYPD to video civilian stops? The footage would rival any well produced episode of "Law and Order" once they took it to the editing lab. How asinine? Broken windows is the issue treating violation as crimes. When you conflate real crime with "nuisance offenses" this is what you get,an officer who decides he has every right to subdue someone for anything. at any cost....


There needs to be an option under the broken window policy to allow the cops to back off when they determine that that is the best option. Maybe issuing a ticket. The current policy leads to too much macho posturing.

Park Slope



Why aren't the police held to higher scrutiny? They should be prosecuted and thrown in jail. I'm almost as scared of the Police as I am the crooks.

Upper West Side

I attended today's protest at Thompkinsville Park and it was so emotionally sad to see so many people filled with anger! If the cops involved in this incident get nothing else but a slap on the wrist, protests are expected to be continued. William Bratton can say whatever he wants, nobody can make a difference but the individual cops themselves.


First my condolences to the family!
They take these police officers that know nothing about the inner city and expect them to know how to approach us, talk to us, when they don't even respect us yet they want respect. I think it's all in the approach.. Approach me as a human being and not an animal and the outcome will most likely be different!


Five minutes of talking would have seen Garner alive and in custody without violence. Yes, we are all subject to laws, but if frustration gives the police the right to kill a person, we are all in some very, very serious trouble.


Remember Anthony Baez, Mr Dorismond, Abner Luima, Amadou Diallo? Many, many more. But when a cop is murdered, it's a whole different story!

East Village

I think the New York police force need to look at there procedures it's disgraceful what has happened here to that poor man no one deserves to be treated that way unless it's absolutely last resort. I have met some lovely police officers since I have been in New York but some of them are rude and unhelpful and it's clear some of them need training


If NYPD were allowed to carry Tasers, this would not have happened, but the NYPD secret is that officers are not trusted to carry teasers, because the higher brass are afraid that officers will taser each other for fun - sad but true

Murray Hill

Regarding the comment from the caller that the public shouldn't yell at police.....this is America where freedom of speech is part of the Constitution! Mr. Garner had that right! Secondly, the video also clearly shows that he wasn't resisting arrest....BOTH hands were in the surrender position. The cop did what he did because he is accustomed to abusing his power!!! I PRAY he's arrested, tried and CONVICTED of murder!

After killing Mr. Garner, the cop had the gall to wave at the camera....blatant disregard for life. Some of those cops are NO BETTER than common criminals!


I can't believe the NYPD would send half dozen cops to arrest a man for selling loose cigarettes.....don't they have real criminals to catch?

Jamaica Estates

Arresting people for petty crimes is a waste of time which is the result of Comp Stat. Stop the madness, and instead get the community to start giving up the real criminals in the neighborhood.


How much more training will the officers need to have common sense and not abuse their authority. NYC officers get away with everything from murder, abuse and even rape. What has this nation come to. There is never justice where it concerns an officer braking the law and abusing their authority. You want to break the law without penalty, become an NYC police officer and you'll have a license to kill. The evidence is straight forward and yet they're still investigating to see what really happened. The EMS workers will receive a stiffer penalty than the officer who took this mans life.

Park Slope

The police enforce the law. Mr garner resisted and as an adult mr garner should of complied. Young cops (Impact)need to be taught by senior cops. Verbal judo goes along way. Meaning to be more street smart And talk with a subject. It's not about race it's about respecting the police


There needs to be a level of respect established between police officers and civilians. The case of Eric Garner, is one in many cases that just so happened to be brought to light. In Harlem, we live that type of excessive force everyday! I as a women, was arrested upon entering the precinct on 135th st. While trying to report a case where officers used excessive force on a young man.

Since when is it OK to take down someone for selling cigarettes?
Does that make sense?
Maybe a ticket, not a 5 man takedown.
It's also amazing how things are strategically put in press. The NYPD would rather send two officers out to the wolves , then Crack down on the whole establishment. I didn't just see 2 officers. I saw about 5 or 6... they should all be held accountable. No one administered CPR or anything.
E MS didn't either. ..
When did we become so used to such injustice?
I fear for my children, I teach my boys to step in a crowded area if stopped by the police, because you just never know what the police will do.


I would like to say that this overkill behavior by police has been going on too long, Now a man is dead, and no one seems to be held accountable. In the past 40 years we've seen the deaths of so many, I recall the cases of Elenor Bumpers, and a young kid named Michael Stewart, many years ago, it's like deja vu all over again.


All the sensitivity training in the world will not change the heart of a racist person, only The Spirit of God can do that.

So called officer 99 didn't seem to be intimidated by the cameras, he's bold enough to wave for the cameras. He knows he'll get away with it!


Retraining won't make a difference if some of the police officers are simply racist. If there is a way of screening out racist applicants and not allowing them into the department that's just about the only way.

I know if you go for jury duty and they ask you questions and you reply , " lock up some white folks for a chance" , they will excuse you and let you go home. We need that same type of screening for the police duty. Not only for jury duty.




Why did officers take him down? What did they see him do? Nothing. They claim they saw him selling loosies, a misdemeanor. They could have given him a ticket. But the fact is they never recovered loose cigarettes from him, therefore they did not see him selling cigarettes. Funny they never mentioned that.


Blatent disregard for the law is rampant in NYC nowadays. People who wish to do whatever they want and break the law do not want to get arrested-- they want to be right and they want respect. In which case, the residents of these high crime areas should police themselves.


In my opinion, any officer who shows a pattern of abuse should be re-trained and monitored or removed. Officer99 and the other officers showed absolute disregard for the life of a man who was not offering any kind of resistance! Without the video

It always turns into racism when something like this happens. So its okay for him to sell cigarettes to minors because he needs to make a living? It is call a job, find one, they are out there. Yes what happen was unfortunate but why did he resist arrest if he had nothing to hide? I am not saying that the brutality wasn't there but it shouldn't always turn into racism. What happened is sad, but is not the first time he dealt with the police, all do to seling cigarettes. Stop doing illegal stuff.

I live in Jamaica Queens, and see brutality every day. Solution, remove these officers from the black community.


Videotape prevents lies. why would the NYPD object to that?


Because of all the transparent things that have been mentioned
because of this tragic event of Mr Garden, I think now is an opportune
time to see that Commissioner Bratton is aware of the corruption of the
detective unit on Staten Island also. I have first hand knowledge of being
the victim of a crime on Staten Island and the being a victim of law enforcement for false reports made by the detectives out there. When people
are robbed, detectives on Staten Island wright the reports as lost instead of stolen for whatever there internal reasons are/ So citizens become a victim twice. Once by the thieves and also the detective units on Staten Island. Hopefully Commissioner Bratton will hear of this. Please pass it on. Maybe some good will come from this email.


I don't think that the NYPD intended on have a man die in their custody. I think that all they intended to do was arrest a man. I think that the take down looked rough and the move that Officer 99 used I don't believe was a choke hold. They Officers put their life on the line taking someone down by that glass window. Even when the deceased was on the ground with his head held down he still wouldn't let them cuff him. Police are trying to clean up a condition in that neighborhood and what some think is a nothing crime it isn't. Who do you think buys these loosies ? Kids , drunks and junkies that's who. When people say why doesn't this happen to white people , because most white people comply to a police offers orders. I all so think that 99 waving shows that they believed the deceased was alive and was faking. If someone is talking they're breathing. 99 is in a plain clothes unit and I'm sure makes tons of arrests. More arrests will alway = more complaints. This is a nightmare for all involved


I need to speak about The NYPD and how they "ALWAYS" abuse their power from driving while talking on their cell phones to having darker tints on their windows than the people they pull over to addressing people in an aggressive manner when the civilian is speaking in the most calmest respectful manner possible. I keep hearing about the NYPD becoming more "Community oriented" WHEN?!?! I specifically recall growing up in the 70's when you knew the neighborhood police by name and as a kid, the cops even played sports with us. The cops were really cool people back then NOW I hate the police because of the way they treat people. I'm 45 years old and the way the police are to us in the inner cities is NOT getting any better. In fact, it's getting worse and worse every year. The respect that we had for the police is gone forever. We don't need for public officials to keep apologizing for the ridiculous actions of the police. We need to be respected as civilians. WHAT KIND OF JUSTICE WILL BE SERVE TO PEOPLE BEING ABUSED BY THE SAME LAWS THAT ARE SUPPOSED TO BE IN PLACE TO PROTECT US WHEN IT'S THE POLICE THAT ARE CONDUCTING THE INVESTIGATIONS?!?! Let's be real. They're going to protect each other. I don't remember any cops going to jail for their abuse of power. Their ought to be a civil rights investigation. Cops are being suspended and demoted. They should be FIRED!!!


I'm not sure if this is a case of racism but i do know that NYPD gets away with a lot of things it is sad that we have to endure so much wrong from the people that's supposed to protect us and so that's why i pray to my father because he is and will always be our protector.


My name Evan out of Harlem, I don't understand how there is a case for this or anyone can justify what was done. I've heard call ins, and people tweeting and emailing about think about from a cop standpoint. Not everyone in this world wants to be a cop so think of it from a standpoint that your on, I'm a human being with natural human rights as well as rights under the law and nowhere do the say I can be choked to death for selling cigarettes. I don't understand how anyone can have the audacity to defend the officers in the video. Eric Garner didn't assault any officers. Sure he raised his voice but when you deal with sarcastic filled cops and brutality on a high scale. I think yelling is the best way to get it out. The cops terrorize the citizens more than the gangs and drug dealers do. No it's not race but it's power. It's a fight for power.

Watching the video makes me profoundly sad, and embarrassed .i am a middle aged professional white woman. This looks like a case of bullying , and racism. Not only the choke hold , but crushing the mans head into the ground. Officer 99 looks like a thug himself he waves his hand at the camera proud and cockey. After severely injuring or even killing this man. Shame on him!!! Taking away the cops gun and put on desk duty is not enough. He used brut force. He should b brought up on heavier charges. And legal not paid for by the tax payers. We have a high rate of unemployment ,Mr Gardner , might have needed to make money to feed his family . He wasn't selling heroin, or robbing someone. It's disgraceful how some police officers abuse their power.

Sympathy to the family !

Felice, from Long Island City

Everyone is avoiding the fact that this Perp Garner is resisting arrest, the moment the Police tell you you are under arrest and to put your hands behind your back, and you resist, you risk consequences. What makes people believe the Police cant put their hands on them. The moment they, the Police believe there is a crime about to be, is being, or has been committed, they can put their hands on you. Those Police tried that, and this Perp flailed his arms and pulled away from the Police RESISTING ARREST.


What training could have prevented this incident? This isn't a failure in training, it's a failure in judgment ! The responding officers were unduly aggressive & the EMTs should be FIRED for their clear neglect of duty after the subject became unresponsive- EMTs chose to disregard this man due to a perception THEY had.. In the end though, this will only make quality of life policing MORE dangerous as young people who encounter the police choose extremely VIOLENT options as opposed to ending up choked to death while trying to rationalize with bullying police..

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