Former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton on Tuesday blasted the idea of a response time slowdown after the firing of Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo for his role in Eric Garner’s death.
“It gives the criminal element in the city a sense that the police aren’t going to do anything,” Bratton said on WOR’s “Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning.”
“[If the slowdown] goes on for a long period of time than police trying to regain control is more difficult.”
Bratton’s remarks are in response to Police Benevolent Association President, Patrick Lynch’s urging cops to use the “utmost caution” when making arrests, especially if the person resists. He said officers should back each other up, call for a supervisor when making a bust and request an ambulance when touching a member of the public.
Taking those steps can tie up cops and slow a police response for hours.
Lynch made the suggestions Monday after Police Commissioner James O’Neill decided to follow an NYPD judge’s recommendation and fire Pantaleo.
The Detectives Endowment Association doubled down on Lynch’s sentiment Tuesday.
“If you are given the least bit of resistance, either verbal or physical, get your covering supervisors to the scene and let them make the call,” DEA president Michael Palladino wrote in a message to union members.
“If the subject refuses to remain on the scene while you await the supervisor, use your discretion as to whether to detain the individual or not by accessing the safety of the situation around you and the crime for which the individual is wanted. As absurd as this sounds, we must proceed this way at this time,” Palladino told his detectives.
The union head also reminded cops to be hyper-aware of their surroundings as they could be threatened by people around them – citing last month’s water and bucket tossing.
Bratton believes that “some officers” will follow Lynch’s recommendation, but hopes that most do not.
“A call for slowdown and inaction increases danger and risk to police,” he said. “The message goes out to everyone that cops are powerless, that cops are afraid to act.”
“[Garner’s death] was a tragedy for everybody, but a New York City police officer has an oath to uphold the law and go toward the danger, and they must continue to do that,” he said. “The nature of policing requires strong, assertive action.”
Police said Garner, 43, was selling loose, untaxed cigarettes on a Staten Island sidewalk, and when he refused to surrender, cops tried to take the 6-foot-2, 395-pound Garner into custody, with Pantaleo grabbing him from behind.