De Blasio bashes report he would ditch Bratton over Eric Garner case
Mayor Bill de Blasio held nothing back in response to a report on Tuesday that he was willing to drop Police Commissioner Bill Bratton.
The mayor didn’t even let a reporter finish the question of whether he’d side with the Rev. Al Sharpton over his top cop at an unrelated event on Wednesday.
“Idiotic. And look, I — I have a high-pain threshold when it comes untruths being told in print, but this is ludicrous,” the mayor said. “It’s inappropriate. It’s idiotic.”
The rumors were first reported by longtime crime reporter Murray Weiss at DNAinfo, who spoke with anonymous sources that suggested de Blasio lost political capital in appointing Bratton.
“I’m kind of sick of this notion of let’s make everything about personalities and conflict,” de Blasio told reporters. “We are blessed to have Bill Bratton as our commissioner and he’s doing a great job. And he and I are absolutely united in our approach to fighting crime and bringing police and community together.”
Bratton, who was not present at the event where the city announced a nearly $13 million commitment to reduce gun violence citywide, recently sat in on a roundtable that included Sharpton, who lambasted the Police Department’s response to the death of Staten Island man Eric Garner while in police custody.
“Given the data that we are seeing in terms of these broken window kind of operations, it’s disproportionate in the black and Latino communities,” Sharpton said to de Blasio at the July meeting. “If Dante wasn’t your son, he would be a candidate for a chokehold.”
Still, De Blasio brushed off any concerns about Bratton and pointed to ongoing decreases in stop-and frisk incidents and marijuana arrests.
“So, I would wish that people would not talk to unnamed sources and would actually ask me,” he said. “I’m quite available to answer the question.”
According to the original DNAinfo report, the mayor’s office did not return a request for comment at the time.
Follow Chester Jesus Soria on Twitter @chestersoria