"We are absolutely cooperating with the federal government," Mayor de Blasio said on ABC News' Sunday morning program, This Week with George Stephanopoulos.
By LOUIS FLORES
One week after former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (R-New York City) took to ABC News to blame Blacks for a recent spree of police homicides of unarmed Black men, Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-New York City) appeared on the same news program to denounce the caustic former mayor's comments.
Saying of former Mayor Giuliani, Mayor de Blasio said, "I think he fundamentally misunderstands the reality. We're trying to bring the police and community together."
Since Wednesday, when a Staten Island grand jury decided it was unable to find probable cause to file criminal charges against NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo over his chokehold homicide of Eric Garner, activists have been holding daily demonstrations in New York City in protests over a broken judicial system and an out-of-control police force.
On the ABC News program, This Week, Mayor de Blasio was asked about his promise that there would be a fair and justified outcome to the District Attorney's investigation of Mr. Garner's death, but Mayor de Blasio would not comment about his broken promise, saying, "I make a point not to talk about any element of the judicial process, per say," adding a little later in the interview, "because as an executive in public office, I think it's important to respect the judicial process."
There was a contradiction in the mayor's remarks. It appeared that, judging by the mayor's comments, he did not want to interfere with other branches of government. However, when some members of the municipal legislative body, the New York City Council, were engaged in a race to become the next Council speaker last December, Mr. de Blasio became heavily involved, even before he had been sworn in as mayor, upsetting defenders of the separation of powers of government that ranged from bloggers to the Editorial Board of The New York Times.
Questions, including one about Mayor de Blasio's contradictions in respecting separation of powers, were presented to the City Hall press office, but mayor's press officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
In the ABC News interview, Mayor de Blasio invoked training and the use of body cameras as a way to minimise police misconduct and to increase accountability, respectively. However, Mayor de Blasio has not addressed how the existence of video showing NYPD officer Pantaleo applying a chokehold around Mr. Garner's neck that led to Mr. Garner's unconsciousness and, later, to his death was insufficient to persuade a Staten Island grand jury to hold officer Pantaleo accountable for Mr. Garner's homicide.
Instead, Mayor de Blasio cited historic racial dynamics for underlying tension for causing strife between police and the community, but the mayor himself has continued to support a race-based policing philosophy by NYPD, known as "Broken Windows," which intentionally targets low-income communities and communities of color.
Mayor de Blasio made more contradictions in his appearance on the Sunday news program, saying he has "immense respect" for NYPD officers ; yet, the de Blasio administration has still not honoured contract negotiations with police unions.
In spite of calls for the resignation of NYPD Commissioner William Bratton, Mayor de Blasio continued to fluff Commissioner Bratton in public, expressing on ABC News a blind faith that the NYPD could carry out its own investigation of Mr. Garner's homicide, calling Commissioner Bratton's plans for retaining fundamental to basically curing the ills of excessive use of force by the NYPD, later calling his police commissioner "absolutely visionary" in soaring rhetoric. However, during Commissioner Bratton's first term as head of the NYPD under the Giuliani administration, Commissioner Bratton, at that time then, reportedly did not take action on a comprehensive memorandum about police misconduct prepared by Walter Mack, the former Deputy Commissioner for Internal Affairs, which "concluded that patterns of abuse and corruption complaints in several precincts in central Brooklyn, upper Manhattan and the Bronx suggested that the corruption uncovered in the 30th and 48th precincts was not unusual," according to The New York Times. At that time then, the NYPD was reeling from corruption scandals at the 30th Precinct station house up in Harlem and the 48th Precinct station house up in The Bronxbut former Deputy Commissioner Mack described the corruption problem as much larger than the NYPD was willing to acknowledge.
The mayor also tried to walk-back his controversial comments about having to train his bi-racial son, Dante de Blasio, how to react to a police force run amok, couching his remarks on Sunday as advice that all parents of color give their children, saying that, "What parents have done for decades, who have children of color, especially young men of color, is train them to be very careful when they have a connection with a police officer, when they have an interaction with a police officer."
Mayor de Blasio's interview was broadcast one day before The New York Daily News reported that, for a period of the last 15 years, on-duy NYPD officers have been involved with 179 fatalities during interactions with civilians. In spite of the large number of fatalities, only 3 NYPD offices were ever indicted, and only 1 was ever found guilty.