As New York City continues to grapple with Staten Island dad Eric Garner’s death, which led an incensed city to demand justice, Mayor Bill de Blasio held a roundtable discussion with the Rev. Al Sharpton and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton to talk through the next step to be taken toward healing the community, the New York Daily News reports.
Sharpton, who has been at the forefront of calls for justice regarding Garner’s death just moments after he was seemingly put into a choke hold by an NYPD officer, stood fast to his talking points at the meeting, at one point sharply addressing the mayor with this matter-of-fact statement: “If Dante wasn’t your son, he’d be a candidate for a choke hold. And we’ve got to deal with that reality.”
De Blasio, with Sharpton on his left and Bratton on his right, addressed the growing ire and concerns of the community following the Garner incident.
According to the Daily News, the mayor admitted that police behavior had to be addressed but also praised Bratton, saying that he was the “finest police leader in the United States of America.”
Bratton, the news site notes, is hoping to propose retraining for all NYPD officers, especially the 20,000 cops who mainly work the streets. “Training is absolutely the essential catalyst for, out of this tragedy, finding opportunity,” he said, according to the Daily News.
However, Sharpton thought action and serious repercussions were among the best ways to solve the apparent problem of police brutality. “You got to deal with training,” Sharpton countered. “But I also think, Commissioner, that the best way to make police stop using illegal choke holds is to perp-walk one of them that did. … It will send a lesson that 10 training sessions will not give them.”
“I take Rev. Sharpton’s admonition to heart—the time is now,” de Blasio said in response, according to the Daily News. However, he pointed out that “the work of reform takes real intensity, real effort … and some real patience.
“Commissioner Bratton is entirely right about training,” the mayor added. “People want to see the tangible, they want to see results now. I understand that impulse, but I guarantee you, systematic retraining will have a huge impact.”
Read more at the New York Daily News.