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The Call Blog: Bratton Defends De Blasio; Bridge March Under Scrutiny

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Marching over the Verrazano Bridge isn't a smart idea logistically. On the Brooklyn side, there are very few convenient mass transit options. On the Staten Island side, there are none. So protesters will struggle to get to the starting point, and really struggle to get home. In addition, closing a lane on the span will snarl traffic all day. Demonstrators should gather in lower Manhattan, take the ferry, and march to Tompkinsville. Done.



Police Commissioner Bill Bratton took to the airwaves today to defend the NYPD and Mayor de Blasio amid continuing concerns over the death of Eric Garner during an attempted arrest on Staten Island. In one interview, Bratton described the mayor as "very pro-cop." In another, he acknowledged the cell phone video of police wrestling Garner to the ground "really has struck a chord with the public."

Also today, representatives from the National Action Network met with the new NYPD Inspector General today to express concerns about the investigation being impartial. NAN is planning a march across the Verrazano Bridge from Brooklyn to Staten Island on August 23rd. But many New Yorkers feel the cost and inconvenience aren't worth it. What do you say?

Should lanes on the Verrazano Bridge be closed to accommodate this march? If not, what is a more appropriate setting for this protest? Do you agree with Commissioner Bratton that Mayor de Blasio is "very pro-cop?" Do you think the Staten Island District Attorney's office will conduct a fair and impartial investigation?

Send your thoughts using the link above.



John,

Does being "pro cop" mean they are excused for all malfeasances? Is it right that civilians get arrested and jailed for doing the same thing? For example, if a cop sold a loosie, would he get arrested?

Joe
Port Richmond, SI



Hi John

The march across the Verrazano Bridge is necessary, all the minority people have to come together with the honorable Rev. Sharpton and we all have to fight racism together, what the NYPD and the EMT's did to MR. Garner was pure racism #99 knew the chokehold was illegal to use but he did it anyway and then what he said he couldn't breathe they didn't give him CPR, they just left him on the sidewalk to die. I know i will be at the march on Aug 23 using all of my ability to walk with my walker my legs are getting stronger every day no doubt about it because i know about racism in Staten Island when i was younger i was with my mom and white guys drove by us saying go home N****** while we were waiting for a bus by Great Kills Park. Lanes should be closed on the bridge so people will have room to march, they do it for the Marathon why not do it for the march to stop racism in the NYPD and everywhere racism is. I hope the Staten Island DA file murder charge s against the NYPD and the EMT workers that left Mr. Garner on the sidewalk to die, this is 2014 RACISM HAVE TO STOP!!!!!!!

Herman
UWS



Pat Lynch and the PBA are not helping their "members" at this point. The camera does not lie. Pat Lynch is alienating and angering communities of color. He has a problem with Al Sharpton? Pat Lynch then I invite you to hold a press conference in a community of color, explain your position, and attempt repair the damage in relations between minority citizens and your "members." I think not. You hold your conference at City Hall and travel back to your home on Long Island. You seem to have no idea what it is to be a minority and harassed and disrespected by police. You would not treat a dog the way those Police Officers treated Eric Garner. What if it was your son, brother, father? How would you feel then? You should not be involved with the City of New York if you cannot accept the fact that some of your "members" are bad news and should not be policing; particularly communities of color. The fact that you support bad performing Police Officers says quite a bit about the type of individual you are. Pat Lynch, I advise you to wake up soon before you really have some problems. I am totally disgusted with you and the NYC PBA. You and you bad "members" will reap what you have sown.

From Kevin



I've no opinion of the march one way or the other, as long as they're doing it legally. And Letitia James did raise safety concerns today about the use of the bridge -- hey, come to think of it, if Sharpton got pushed off, that would be a win/win for the city, except for the pollution of the waterway below.

Bruce
Upper West Side
Manhattan



Hi John,

I feel that marching across the bridge will not only be costly but also create a problem with security. Sharpton has created many marches and has changed nothing at all after all these years. So far as the DA from Staten Island goes he will be doing a fair investigation as long as everyone steps aside and just let him get started because it seems to me that with all the interruptions the DA can't even get off the ground to put a dent in this case. Also the commissioner should not have to validate that the mayor is Pro-cop. He did appoint Bratton didn't he? It's getting testy now, just let everyone do their job. Both guys should be on the same page.

Thank you John,
maxxiee
mp



Hi John,

While the incident happened in NYC it has national & even international implications, therefore just like other major events are accommodated it is only fair that this march be as well. Otherwise it will look like another slap in the face to people of color. No way do I believe that a fair& impartial investigation can be conducted in Staten Island!

Joyce
Springfield Gardens NY



They will hold up traffic and impact the economy with that walk. Tell them to take a walk. If the cop is wrong then punish him and let us get this over with. It is not the first time and will not be the last . Maybe the cop can get a job with that one from Abner Louima installing sprinklers.

Roscoe
Park Hill



This march should repeat the location of the massive 2013 march from northern 5th Ave down to 72 St against unconstitutional Stop and Frisk abuse. Many thousands of all races participated as well as watched from the sidewalks.

This would show the link to the Bloomberg/Kelly violation of rights, and thus strengthen the campaign against current police abuse. We need diversity in these protests and most New Yorkers are appalled by the police abuse.

The 5th Ave location would defuse Staten Island objections to closing the bridge, dropping that distraction, to focus on the main issue, --police and the rule of law.

Meredith, in Manhattan



Sharpton endorsed not only Deblasio but Bratton too. His so-called protests never produce anything but a monetary settlement for the victim's family. Sharpton has yet to influence real policy change. He is not the leader he thinks he is or pretends to be...

Ken
Harlem



All involved police officers should be charged criminaly in the death of Mr. Garner, the protest march should go on even it may be dissaproved by so called authorities whose salary paid by the outraged public, if necessery stage a dissobidient march, also ask for the resignation of broken window Bratton

Joco from Sunnyside



All the cops should fired & arrested, for causing eric garner to die.

Epadilla
far rockaway.



The way I see it, the NYPD has been militarized throughout the years. We as citizens let it happen because not enough of us has spoke out. As a result, the NYPD has gotten to power hungry and aggressive. As for the march across the bridge, let them. We can let a marathon run across the bridge, or a bike race. In my opinion, the reason why some people are against it, it is because they don't want to hear their message and sweep it under the rug.

Mike from Morningside



I dont think without a doubt it will be a impartial investigation...if the cops was going to be indicted it would of been happened. I think the march should take place in city hall to put pressure on the mayor and the police commissioner

Omar
Far Rockaway



NY Hi John. The EMT's and NYPD employees involved in Mr. Garner's death should be relocated- to JAIL. A man was killed by the NYPD in a brutal way. We can stand a day of inconvenience. Ridiculous.

Terrah
Manhattan



To all those who say the march across the bridge is an inconvenience- IT IS AN INCONVENIENCE TO THE GARDNER FAMILY TO BE WITHOUT THEIR LOVE ONE!!

Crystal-Red Hook



Yes citizens want to march over the bridge which their tax monies built, why not? It's closed for the marathon anyway. This is way more serious.

Theresa



I'm a retired detective and have been in plenty of situations where a large male had to be taken down. Eric garner should have followed instructions and let the officers handcuff him and brought back to the station house. They probably would have given him a summons and he would have been home with his family. Mr garner had a lot of health problems and that's a shame that he passed but all he had to do was cooperate. Marching solves nothing the authorities are not dragging there feet they are following procedure.

Det Jones



First and foremost this is a country of laws. Any indictments that result will be charges that can be upheld at trial. And a trial will have a jury that is chosen by both sides. This march is just another venue that is more about Sharpton than Garner.

Jack B
Queens Village NY



DOES EVERYONE REALIZE THAT THE NYPD OFFICERS ARE EMPLOYEES OF NYC ,PAID FOR BY THE TAXPAYERS OF NYC. JUST AS FIREMEN OR COUNCILPERSONS THEY AREN'T VOLUNTEERS, NOR WERE THEY CONSCRIPTED, THEY CONSCIOUSLY TOOK A SWORN OATH TO UPHOLD THE LAW NOT ABUSE IT. IF THEY WANT TO SLOWDOWN GET RID OF THEM ALL. HIRE WITHIN THE BOROS PEOPLE THAT ARE FROM THOSE COMMUNITIES, SIMPLE.... RESPECT THE BADGE? HOW ABOUT THE OFFICERS THEMSELVES RESPECTING THE BADGE AND THE OATH THAT CAME WITH IT?

KEN
HARLEM



I don't remember hearing this much outrage closing the verrazano bridge for the marathon. I'm not that in favor of marching I believe in the power of boycotting and holding back on spending our money. That is what the powers that be will understand and that is what we should be strategizing about! Having said that why can't they close just 2 lanes for the marchers?

Denise
Manhattan



Why can't the police just admit they made a horrible mistake that killed a man, husband, and father. This Mr Garner was resisting arrest, however he didn't deserve to die. I'm sure it wasn't the police officer's intent to kill Mr Garner but he did, he made a horrible mistake. Hopefully the police change their approach to similar situations in the future. I feel the police should try to show the public they are going to make a change and that a mistake was made.

David



Every person is responsible for himself. If the people upset about Eric's death were sincerely interested in preventing such tragedies they should focus on educating people on the importance of never resisting arrest. I saw the video and Eric definitely resisted. If Eric peacefully allowed police to arrest him he (1) would be alive today, and (2) if the police wrongly arrested him he would have a case that would allow him to smile all the way to the bank!

William on Upper East Side



Why aren't any of those cops arrested?? The mayor is dreaming, religion won't help!! And the PBA is a joke.. They only see one side as for marches.... Their should be (5) five, one day same time... BKlyn., manh., st.I., Bx., and Queens...

Joseph



This is not a Black or white thing this is a morality issue. Leave color out of this. People regardless of color have the right to protest that is what makes this country America!

Even if you do something wrong you have the right to due process. Since when did we start holding court in the streets, this is not the Wild West.

Kenny from Park slope



i dont think white people are understanding what's going on. For the whites not to be upset as we are (black folks) makes me know that we have not overcome ,we're still back in the sixties when cops or anyone of the other race think they can do as they please to us. What is one march across the bridge going to hurt?If by watching that man loose his life so easy the way he did and for that not to touch your heart and make you want to fight as a human being brings tears to my eyes.

Lori



This incident will be another example of how racially divided this city is. Staten island is predominately white and they could care less of another death of a minority by police. Their thought is along the lines of PBA president Pat Lynch that he caused the circumstances leading to his demise. These cops, Pat Lynch are a disgrace.

V.



I think John Shiumo's idea is good, to use the many subway lines to gather in lower manhattan, let the staten island ferries carry people across, walk a short distance and have the event. This way it would attract many more participants than the hard -to -reach Verazzano. Getting a big turnout is the main objective, not the bridge walk.

Meredith in Manhattan.



Why is there only outrage when there is a police officer is involved in the event. There are shootings and stabbings that result in the deaths of people in our communities on almost a daily and nightly basis and for some reason we simply say "that kind of thing happens all the time", as if it's some sort of badge of honor. Are those lives lost any less or more important than if it happened at the hands of a police officer. What kind of message are we sending our children if we don't show the same response for all lost lives. How can we expect other people to treat us with respect if we don't treat our own people with respect.

Eric



Generally a March is used to bring attention to the situation. The situation resulting in Mr. Garner's death is not hidden. We must give our justice system the respect it deserves in handling these matters. Thereafter if justice does not prevail, MARCH ON...

Damond



Yes they should march over Verrazano Bridge. They close the bridge for everything else bike marathon, the running marathon and let's not forget all the streets that they shut down. And I think Al Sharpton doing a wonderful job representing the people. Every last one of those cops should be held accountable for what took place to Mr Eric Garner and the one that choked him should be in jail right now for murder. Because that's what it was murder.

A.

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