NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Police Commissioner Bill Bratton signaled Thursday that he wants to remove NYPD officers who abuse their authority and tarnish his vision for a more tolerant force.
“The reality is that there are some in this organization who should not be here,” Bratton said. “They’re not the right fit at the NYPD in 2014. There are a few — and a very few in a very large organization — who just don’t get it.”
He added: “They don’t understand that when they take that oath of office and put that shield on, that they commit to constitutional policing, respectful policing, compassionate policing.”
Bratton didn’t go into specifics.
The commissioner’s remarks came at the start of an executive workshop intended to set priorities for hundreds of NYPD commanders and supervisors. The daylong session was taking place at a newly constructed police academy in Queens set to open early next year.
The nation’s largest police department has been grappling with the fallout of the videotaped chokehold death in July of Eric Garner on Staten Island.
Garner, a 43-year-old father of six, died after he had been stopped by police for allegedly selling loose, untaxed cigarettes.
In cellphone video of the incident, an officer is seen placing his arm around Garner’s neck and then taking him to the ground after Garner refuses to be handcuffed.
Garner is heard saying repeatedly, “I can’t breathe!”
Officer Daniel Pantaleo, the cop who was seen on video placing Garner in the apparent chokehold, and another unidentified officer were placed on modified reassignment pending the outcome of the case.
Four emergency workers were suspended without pay pending an investigation.
The medical examiner’s office ruled Garner’s death a homicide, caused by the officer’s chokehold as well chest and neck compressions and prone positioning “during physical restraint by police.” Asthma, heart disease and obesity were contributing factors, the medical examiner said.
A grand jury is weighing evidence in the case.
The NYPD also has been criticized over officers’ handling of two recent incidents in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
Last week, video surfaced of a cop throwing a pregnant woman onto the ground. The NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau is investigating the incident.
And another police officer was caught on video kicking a fruit vendor while police were holding him on the ground. The officer was suspended.
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