NEW YORK—Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and several top officials held a press conference Monday evening to comment on how the city police are dealing with the latest issues.
On Saturday, two policemen were assaulted during a protest against police brutality and terrorism awareness has been heightened after an Iranian-born gunman held people hostage in Australia.
Police said that protesters have been given opportunities to vent their frustrations about the decision not to indict white police officer Daniel Pantaleo for placing Eric Garner, who was black, in a chokehold in Staten Island that led to the latter’s death.
Turning violent against officers was going a step too far, said Bratton, who blamed a small group he called selfish for choosing to “make it all about them.”
“We do not take attacks on our police lightly,” said Bratton.
Six people—three male, three female—who police officers observed through reviewing an amateur YouTube video, are currently being sought for arrest. Many of them tried to prevent the two officers, Patrick Sullivan and Lieutenant Philip Chan, from arresting them. They punched and kicked Chan and Sullivan.
Bratton noted that protesters carried cameras to record police’s every move and tried to provoke law enforcement officials into retaliating. He appealed to the reporters in the pressroom, “You see what we’re dealing with…the language [protesters] are throwing at them.”
Overall the mass protests in New York against police brutality have cost the city $22.9 million, said Bratton, adding that the sum came from taxpayer money.
Increasing Police Presence
And while hostages were being taken in a cafe in Sydney, Australia, New York police were already deploying to the Australian Consulate-General’s office in the city.
In case of copycat crimes, police planned to cover Lindt Chocolate—the café where hostages were kept in Australia—locations throughout the city, such as in the Rolex Building, said Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counter-terrorism John Miller.
Seeing that Sydney was the financial heart of Australia, police also increased their presence in the Financial District and the Empire State Building.
There was “an awful lot happening,” said Miller.
The police also noted several comments made by union president Pat Lynch that Bratton found fault with.
“We’re professionals. We don’t need to use that unnecessary language to achieve personal goals,” said Bratton, mentioning in particular, Sergeant’s Benevolent Association head Ed Mullins’s calling the mayor a name.
Bratton also felt that Lynch telling the mayor to stay away from police funerals was inappropriate.
After all, in a police officer’s duty, funerals were “the most solemn thing we do,” he said.