By Jonathan Allen
NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton said on Monday that police were starting to “reengage” after a slowdown following the killings of two police officers, with arrests down 38 percent last week compared to the same period a year earlier.
Two weeks ago, arrests were down 56 percent compared to the same period the previous year amid a deepening rift between police and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, criticized by some for creating an anti-police atmosphere in the city.
“We are still concerned with the level of activity but they are returning to normal,” Bratton said at a news conference at police headquarters.
“We are pleased with the fact that officers are beginning to reengage again,” he said.
For the week ending Sunday, there were 4,690 arrests compared to 7,508 the previous year, a 38 percent decrease, he said.
The number of criminal court summonses for the week ending Sunday was 1,484, down 71 percent from 5,051 recorded the same week the previous year. Two weeks ago, the number of summonses issued was down more than 90 percent compared to a year earlier.
After the shooting of the officers on Dec. 20 as they sat in their patrol car in Brooklyn, some police officers have taken to turning their backs on the mayor at public events.
The mayor angered some in the police force by saying he sympathizes with protesters who have taken to the streets in cities across the country in the past few months accusing police of being hostile towards black citizens.
(Reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Eric Beech)