After a weekend of violent bloodshed in the wake of Ferguson’s grand jury decision, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton visited NYU Law on Monday for a conversation about urban crime, taking the opportunity to admit the NYPD has “lost the trust of so much of the community.”
Over the weekend, violence tore through the borough as a cop shot a seemingly innocent man in East New York’s Pink Houses, a married couple was charged after the father accidentally shot his 9-month-old daughter and video surfaced of an officer brutally smashing a fare-beater in the head and body with a nightstick.
As the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau continues to investigate both the Pink Houses shooting and the subway beating, the couple responsible for the shooting of their child, Pedro Rosales and Jessica Aguilar, were charged on Monday with assault, criminal possession of a firearm, reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child.
On Sunday, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams held a press conference outside an East New York precinct, calling for the regulation of guns in New York households. “We can’t continue to have a culture where illegal guns are in homes or premises where children are in the same location,” Adams said.
Bratton addressed many ongoing concerns during his Monday speech, which was followed by what he called an “excellent dialogue” with Rachel Barkow, a professor of regulatory law and policy at NYU.
After calling the controversial Stop & Frisk policy “essential to American democratic policing,” according to the New York Observer, Bratton said the NYPD is “probably the most restrained police department.” The Commissioner also touched on the subway beating by explaining that individuals have “no right to resist arrest.”
When asked about the implementation of cameras in NYPD uniforms, the Observor reported that Bratton seemed “enthused,” saying that a test program would launch in the next month.
Leading up to Bratton’s public appearance on Monday, NYC Councilwoman Inez Barron and Assemblyman-elect Charles Barron met with officials in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office for a conversation about the shooting. “This was not an accident, it was a crime,” said Councilwoman Barron.
“I am not calling for peace and calm. I’m calling for us to rise up and for us to demand justice,” Charles Barron told reporters outside the DA’s office, according to NY1. “I’m calling for us to rise up and for us to demand justice.”
Members of the New Yorkers Against Bratton group protested in front of NYU Law, taking the Commissioner’s Broken Windows-based policing to task and calling for his resignation.Members of the group attended the speech as well, turning their back to Bratton and chanting “Bratton must go!” The Commissioner dismissed detractors as “the entertainment for the evening.”
“Since Bratton won’t come out and face the communities affected by his policies – we’ll bring the community to him,” said Josmar Trujillo, a rep for the group, hours before the speech. “We’ll fight until we ‘push harder’ until we push he and his broken policies out of New York.”
“Mayor de Blasio doesn’t want NYC to ‘connect the dots’ between what’s happening in Ferguson and what’s happening here,” the spokesman said, tying the recent shooting in NYC to the ongoing drama in Ferguson, Missouri, where an anxious community awaits a grand jury’s verdict on whether or not to indict officer Darren Wilson for shooting and killed black teen Michael Brown.
“I don’t think it’s necessarily right to connect the dots,” de Blasio said at a Friday press conference when addressing the Pink Houses shooting, its racial implications and a possible correlation to the July chokehold death of Staten Island man Eric Garner.
“We’re going to correct the system before you graduate,” Bratton told NYU Law students during his speech, pointing toward a hopeful future for the NYPD.