NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — As protests continued Monday over the grand jury decision not to indict an officer involved in the Eric Garner chokehold case, former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani slammed Mayor Bill de Blasio’s take on the issues surrounding the incident.
As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, Giuliani said de Blasio is in “denial” about how to bridge the divide between police and communities. Giuliani said de Blasio just doesn’t get it when he blames police officers and bad training.
“To pretend that that’s the problem is like a psychological process of denial,” Giuliani said. “It’s missing the big issue.”
Giuliani, under whom present police Commissioner Bill Bratton also served from 1994 until 1996, argued that one of the big issues being faced by the city is the preponderance of black-on-black crime.
“If you’re concerned about the safety of your child as a black parent, then there’s a 1 percent, 2 percent, maybe less chance that that child is going to be hurt by a police officer. There’s a 96 percent chance that that child is going to be shot by another black,” Giuliani said.
Giuliani faulted de Blasio for lacking the courage to deal with the second part of the problem, which Giuliani said was the number of people who resist arrest.
“All of these incidents could have been avoided if the people involved had dealt with the police correctly,” Giuliani said. “If the mayor wants to lecture the police on acting properly, then he should lecture the community on not resisting arrest.”
De Blasio was quick to dismiss Giuliani’s comments.
“I really make it a point not to respond to comments like that. The focus that these incidents have brought up is something that we have to deal with. I think that ignoring it or denying it is counterproductive,” de Blasio said. “This is the productive model. Anyone who wants to live in the past can do that.”
The mayoral back-and-forth came as the NYPD began its own investigation into the actions of police officers in the Garner case.
A grand jury last week declined to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who was seen on video putting Garner in an apparent chokehold. Pantaleo’s partner, Officer Justin D’Amico, got immunity from the grand jury but has already been questioned in the Police Department probe.
The actions of eight other officers, including the female sergeant at the scene, will also be examined.
After the hearing, it will be up to Bratton to decide what to do.
“That trial judge will then make a finding, and make that finding known to me, and I will make the final decision,” he said.
Bratton can decide whether Pantaleo, in fact, used a chokehold. He can also decide on any possible punishment for any of the cops at the scene, which can range from loss of vacation days to outright dismissal.
The NYPD investigation has just begun, as it had to be put aside until the Staten Island grand jury finished its work.
There were also more protests against the Garner decision Monday morning. Demonstrators stopped cars on the Staten Island Expressway from getting to the Verrazano Narrows Bridge as they held a banner mentioning Garner and Michael Brown – the teen who was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.
The protesters left when police arrived.
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