New NYC Police Commissioner William Bratton Innovated Stop-and-Frisk Policy

William Bratton
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
William Bratton
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has chosen his new police commissioner. William Bratton will return to the city, which he presided over from 1994 to 1996, a move confirmed by de Blasio’s transition team.

“Bill Bratton is a proven crime fighter. He knows what it takes to keep a city safe and make communities full partners in the mission. Together we are going to preserve and deepen the historic gains we’ve made in public safety—gains Bill Bratton helped make possible. And we will do it by rejecting the false choice between keeping New Yorkers safe and protecting their civil rights. This is an administration that will do both,” de Blasio said, according to the press release.

However, despite his impressive record for reducing crime while being the police commissioner in New York City and Los Angeles, Bratton is also known for innovating the stop-and-frisk policy that has gotten the New York City Police Department in hot water for the past year, the Huffington Post reports.

Opponents of stop and frisk have raised this issue, especially since de Blasio campaigned on reforming the aggressive police tactic. “I have not heard him make a definitive statement that the way stop and  frisk was carried out in New York City over the last 10 years was ineffective,” Delores Jones-Brown, a former prosecutor and the director of the John Jay College Center on Race, Crime and Justice, told the Huffington Post. “It’s wrong, ethically and morally. I don’t need to hear him waver.”


While Bratton certainly hasn’t come out against stop and frisk or its use by the current commissioner, Ray Kelly, he has hinted that maybe Kelly used a bit too much force, the Huffington Post notes. In 2012 Bratton said that stop and frisk was like chemotherapy—an “intrusive power” that can be effective if applied the right way.

Read more at the Huffington Post.

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