Monday, December 22, 2014

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The Call Blog: Back From Italy, Mayor De Blasio Addresses Policing, Eric Garner

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Welcome back, Guglielmo. You're not in Capri anymore.

After returning last night from an eight-day vacation to Italy, Mayor de Blasio accepted responsibility for improving police-community relations in the aftermath of the death of Eric Garner involving several police officers on Staten Island. De Blasio said "the buck stops here" and assured New Yorkers "they will be protected and they will be respected" by police.

Speaking alongside Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, the Mayor added he is "very appreciative" of recent reforms made by the NYPD "because you can see change on the ground, you can see a different approach already." De Blasio's return coincided with the release of statistics that show police arrested 580 panhandlers in the subway during the first six months of the year, compared to 156 in 2013.

Do you feel Mayor de Blasio will be able to improve the relationship between police and New Yorkers? Does it matter to you he was away on vacation in the aftermath of the death of Eric Garner? Have you noticed a "change on the ground" when it comes to policing? Do you welcome the spike in the number of arrests for panhandling on the subways?

Send your thoughts using the link above.

Why do NYC police have to go to the Rodney King city to spend taxpayer's money on training? Who's going on vacation? Who's training these officers in NYC? Did they get fired yet?


Things will only change when Staten Island police are called to tasked for their behavior, The whole unit ends to be reorganized and those that have offended need to not be retrained but to disciplined. The police on Staten Island don't uphold the law but think the are upon the law .

Antoinnette from Staten Island.

I think that the mayor need more time to get the ball rolling in respect to policing. The police commissioner is also correct when he said the bystanders should not interfere in the arrest or detaining of any individual. New Yorkers trend to mind someone else's business quickly without knowing what happened before pulling out their phones. Feel bad for Garner, but he resisted arrest by not comply with the officers request. Look at his arrest record.


Please with the training there is no training that will stop a racist cop from killing black people. The mayor will have to start sending cops to jail if they kill people when it not warranted. A NYPD former officer Get rid of state indemnification for cops

Stephanie From corona

Th fact is that the police are focusing their efforts on high crime areas to help bring the crime down. he fact is also that these areas happen to be black neighborhoods. What should the police do? Devote resources to white areas to bring down crime in the black areas?

Hell's Kitchen

He situation will never change. The police have a superiority complex. You can even be a victim or ask a question without them speaking down to you. There is no compassion. The lines have been drawn. The police fear the public and the public fear the police. How can you fix this impossible situation? Maybe if the public is given the opportunity to record their interrogation or questioning then the people will have no excuse to behave ethically


What I dont understand is this cop in the 99 shirt has a history of breaking policy. He has used the choke hold other time why is he still allow to patrol?


I would like to hear from NYPD uniforms (not the brass) so they can explain their approach to policing the community. Why do they approach minorities so aggressively and with so much disrespect. Are they afraid or have they been trained to think of us as the enemy? Maybe a series of Town Hall meetings would help us understand one another and hopefully begin to regain the mutual respect we once had.

Fort Greene

I've been with the NYPD for 15 years and have always been assigned to street enforcement....I am very active ....there is no reward for working hard...a small percentage of cops are the ones making the majority of arrests....the public doesn't know this....but with the new laws and the public sentiment towards the police....I will no longer pull out my handcuffs unless I have a victim pointing out an more proactive policing.....crime will be it..and my hard working coworkers agree.i have very few complaints ...I was a good cop....not anymore...too the public who are concerned with it only being a cigarette sale....well then legalize that ...don't blame cops for enforcing laws on the books...very sorry to the family of Eric Garner...


The incumbent mayor hasn't been mayor for a full seven months. What gives him the right to take a vacation at all ? Are we paying for him to take vacations ?

Kenny from Greenwich Village

I'd like to offer my condolences. As someone who has many police officers who are friends, this is a matter of ethics vs. a matter of directives. Clearly, a few rotten apples are hiding in the bunches, and it's time Commissioner Bratton (under Mayor DeBlasio's direction) works to wipe out these rotten apples, immediately. As for Mayor DeBlasio, I think he's entitled to his time with his family; I will say, that his response time is definitely a little late. I hope things will improve with time.

Danz in Woodhaven

In my option the problem with the police relations in the city is a cultural problem within the department. The change needs to be sweeping and has to begin at the top with new training and policies. The police department has "CPR" on the sides if all the cop cars- Courtesy, Professionalism & Respect. I work in Manhattan and live in Brooklyn, and I don't see the CPR concept on display in my day to day life. Cops are not above the law and are subject to the same rules that we all are. They need to remember that they are humans just like the rest of us. They need to be held accountable for their actions and cannot hide behind the shield. I don't know who they think they are sometimes. From simple day to day actions like running red lights or not using blinkers when simply patrolling the streets, to more serious disrespectful infractions like 6 cops pulling guns on two innocent 17 year old girls in my neighborhood and after learning they were not who they were looking for literally throwing their ids back at them and driving off with no explanation or apologies, and the examples could go on and on. The police's respect for the people of this city is lacking.

While I am hopeful for a change between the Police and Citizens in the city, I don't believe that DeBlasio is the answer.

It does bother me that Mayor took a 10 day vacation after only 7 months on the job and an international vacation that cost the taxpayers a lot of money. I think that this shows a lack of respect for the job and the responsibility that the people of the city expect from the mayor Sent from my iPhone

Katie in Brooklyn

First of all, let me remind you of the 4th Amendment. It prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and requires any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause. To the Stop and Frisk supporters should remember that. We as citizens should not give up our rights for "safety". If we give our rights up for safety and security, we won't have neither.

Mike From Morningside

Some of the men & women hired as police seem to have forgotten they took a civil service test for their position. As they progress in their career for promotion they must take another written test until they go for the position of Captain. Taking a civil service exam does not give you the authority to treat people any differently than how you or a love one should be treated.


An increase of police brutality. Let's examine the results of lowering the selection standards for police officers. Many officers aren't aware of the laws they enforce.

Harold in Queens



Dear John,

Mayor de Blasio should have Police Commissioner Bratton stick to his words that he mention during a previous press conference when he talked about success among NYPD:

Success is not how many arrests you made or how many tickets you wrote, my concern is if crime is going down and how safe the people are on public streets.

Clifton, Staten Island

Seems to me that the police brutality have escalated since PoliceCommissioner Bratton took over as it was when he was the Commissioner during the Giuliani administration!


The police are civil servants, who in turn are paid wages, by NY taxpayers. We have every right as taxpayers to protest the way that this tax funded agency creates and enforces policy. The police shouldn't have or expect autonomy. There must be accountability; nothing is incorruptible...


I am a forty veteran of the NYCPD (Captain) was part of a HuffPost debate earlier this. The same women who appeared earlier on your show was part of the debate.

When I asked her if she denies that the majority of crime in the city emanates from black and Latino areas SHE DENIED THIS. This flies in the face of all the statistics that she cited during the debate. She is part of the witch-hunt that is taking place.


What about respect for legitimate tax-paying business owners who sell cigarettes and have the daily problem of people selling "loosies" outside their stores on a daily basis? This may be considered a petty crime, but not if you're the business owners losing money. What recourse do they have?

Staten Island

That lady fro forest hills doesnt know what she is talking....about forest hills is a nice area....i live in a poor area....Elmhurst....cops over here treat spanish and blacks...and ect ....very bad....yes people call the cops to make reports when you get jump or they break in to your car but those case go Cold....they dont Work...


How callous of Diblasio to go on vacation after what happened. Today he finally gave a press conference, and he was a total apologist for the NYPD. No sorrow, no compassion in his voice or words, just excuses. Who cares if there will be "training". Who cares right now about what he plans for the future? After every death at the hands of the out of control NYPD there is always talk about "training. the mayor even said that choke holds were not appropriate under 'normal" circumstances. What does that mean? Either it is legal or not. Sounds like rationalizing to me.This is not a gray area. What happened to the progressive mayor? he should have taken a stand on this, rather than take a "wait and see" attitude and touting his plans for the future. cold cold cold.

Meryl from Manhattan

Can Mayor Deblasio improve the NYPD, of course. But lets hope his administration focuses on improvements, and does not mistakenly weaken their effectiveness to fight crime, because I don't think New York City can afford to see our police force transform in what the Bloomberg Administration dangerously transformed the New York City Correction Department into. Because if our police officers have to work for a department that gives the criminals & lawbreakers the upper hand our city will be ruled by the very same outlaws who now have complete reign of our city's entire jail system?

In closing, thank God the NYPD has Patrick Lynch on their side.

Calle M.
Far Rockaway NY

Has anyone counted the number of officers on scene at the Garner and Spider-Man incidents? This is a waste of tax dollars. Those dollars would be better spent generating jobs. Garner and Spider-Man were trying to make a living. What's so wrong with that?


Mayor deblasio will not be able to change the nypd,there union is to strong & he is too timid compared to Bloomberg or Rudy.

thank you,
Joey from Staten Island

Why don't we just make every police officer black. That's the only way to be sure that there is no racial profiling. The criminal selling loose cigarettes had 30 prior arrest, so that means he was racially profiled 30 times in the past unless they were all black police officers. What a joke Al Sharpton is and this city.

The Village

Hi John;

Deblasio keeps talking about how "bad" things were during the last administration; he's been in office for 7 months and nothing positive has changed. Things keep getting worse.

Deblasio and the Commissioner have a way of dancing around current issues without saying anything. Neither called Mr. Eric Garner by name during their press conference; just start talked about "retraining".

Both Deblasio and Bratton should have attended Mr. Garner's funeral. After all, Deblasio wasn't on vacation, he was on a press junket that we the taxpayers paid for.

midtown east

ps: I don't believe that he paid for his families portion of the trip.

Good evening John,

Honestly, I really don't believe the Mayor will improve the distrust between New Yorkers, especially those who have been repeatedly harassed by NYPD. Many wounds have not even begun to heal within many communities, and may never will.

It's really amazing how NYPD & EMT'S tried to save Charles Mozdir, 32 years old, a non black male. Here was a fugitive on the run since June 2012 and was finally apprehended in the West Village this afternoon. A shootout resulted, and on video, you see Mozdir on a gurney, receiving life saving techniques being administered. This man committed unspeakable act(s) and attempted to take down several NYPD officers on his way out. I believe as he laid on that gurney he was already deceased from multiple gun shot wounds, which is why they tried so desperately to save his life. WHY???? Because he deserved to live in spite of his past. Really?

Mr. Garner was only selling cigarets in front of a store and was murdered for doing so. Arresting pan handlers is the flip side of stop & frisks. What a difference race makes!!!

FYI NYPD: Focus on illegal brothels in the five boroughs to meet your quotas. There's plenty!

Financial District.


I see no change in police action. And I don't expect any from the combo of DeBlasio and DeBratton. They're both losers in my book.

Port Richmond, SI

Hi John,

Only the police can improve the relationship with communities of color by stopping it's over-policing policies & beating/killing people for misdemeanors. They police white communities differently for any number of reasons, race being just one!

Springfield Gardens

Hi John,

So he came and went. I heard that this particular police force was sent to Staten Island and I'm not sure if it is a dumping ground or not. According to what I hear from the mayor he seems to feel he has everything under control. We already know that he has taken sides and it is costing him by doing that. He talks the talk but doesn't walk the walk. Sounds like he's carrying a big stick but he should have been here. Also officers from this particular squad which where assigned to Staten Island are in California to re orientate themselves as how to bring down someone when they resist arrest. He even had to cut one day off from his vacation because he didn't realize at all that if he is out of the country a certain amount of days then the public advocate takes over. Not a good thing and that was a thought by many a New Yorkers. So according to this mayor everything is under control.

Thank you John,

Hi John

Mayor Diblasio should of postponed his vacation if he wanted to protect the minority citizens of the city from the racist white cops, the cops don't respect the minority citizens of the city. The cops think just because they wear a badge they can treat people like garbage that's not right. I heard on another news channel that a African American pregnant woman was put into a chokehold just because she didn't want to move her barbeque to the backyard that's not right. I hope everyone that was a victim of police brutality file a lawsuit with the city RACISM HAVE TO STOP!!! ITS 2014 IT STILL EXISTS even in my apartment building

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