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De Blasio Defends Bratton After Garner Death Sparks Weeks Of Backlash

NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — Mayor de Blasio has defended his police commissioner after weeks of backlash following the death of a Staten Island man in police custody.

“We have the finest police leader in the United States and I believe that in my heart. I think that Bill Bratton is doing an extraordinary job,” the mayor said.

There was no equivocation. Mayor de Blasio gave a resounding vote of confidence to his top cop, CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported. It came despite a rocky patch when the NYPD’s tactics came under a blistering attack from the Rev. Al Sharpton following the death of Eric Garner.

Bratton, who has been regarded as one of the top police minds in the country, was forced to sit through an embarrassing Sharpton tirade at City Hall where both he and the mayor were skewered.

“I also think, commissioner, that the best way to make police stop using the illegal choke hold is to perp walk one who did,” Sharpton said.

The ensuing controversy seemed like chapters in an ongoing civic soap opera and led to a published report that suggested that in a contest between Bratton and Sharpton the mayor would choose Sharpton.

“It’s idiotic, and look, I have a high pain threshold when it comes to untruths being told in print, but this is ludicrous, it’s inappropriate, it’s idiotic,” the mayor said.

The mayor has offered even more in his defense of Bratton who has carried out his desire to reduce the controversial “stop and frisk” program that has upset members of the minority community.

“I’m kinda sick of this notion of ‘let’s make everything about personalities and conflict.’ We are blessed to have Bill Bratton as our commissioner and he’s doing a great job and he and I are absolutely united in our approach to fighting crime and bringing police and community together,” de Blasio said.

The mayor’s comments came during a press conference to announce a new program to stop gun violence. The program is a crisis management system that uses former gang members who have turned their lives around to stop street disputes.

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