There are many strains in the culture of the New York Police Department that made the Mayor Bill DeBlasio-police relationship problematic from the first. He hoped that his choice of William Bratton to lead the Department would do the job. But the eruption of protests against police use of force have seriously undermined the hoped for peace. He confronts the NYPD's culture of professionalism, pride, a high self-opinion, tribal (especially Irish-American) loyalties and attitudes (not famous for cosmopolitan tolerance), the tough guy sometimes bullying stance that Brooklyn Borough President (a retired Captain) described recently in an op-ed piece.
And - almost impossible for an elected official to directly confront - is the "Blacks not cops are the problem", as Times columnist Nicholas Kristof described recently. This clash - and the Mayor's missteps - are recounted in this Times report. - gwc
In Police Rift, Mayor de Blasio’s Missteps Included Thinking It Would Pass - NYTimes.com
"Not long after Mayor Bill de Blasio sat beside the Rev. Al Sharpton at a July summit meeting on police reform, a political adviser gave the mayor a blunt assessment: You have a problem with the cops.
Rank-and-file officers felt disrespected by the mayor, the adviser explained, and were dismayed to see Mr. Sharpton, a longtime critic of the New York Police Department, embraced at City Hall.
But Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, rejected the notion that officers disliked him. His message, the adviser later recalled, was clear: Everything was under control.
That confidence would last until late last month, when the murders of two officers in Brooklyn prompted the department to adopt a stance of rebellion. Uniformed officers protested against the mayor in public, and low-level arrests virtually stopped. Mr. de Blasio, a liberal who had staked his mayoralty on re-educating the police force, is struggling to secure its basic trust."
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