Demonstrators Say There's No Need To Add More Cops; Chamber Eventually Cleared

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Hecklers disrupted hearings Thursday morning as Police Commissioner Bill Bratton addressed the City Council.

They held a demonstration outside City Hall. Then they came inside wearing shirts that said “Special Police Brutality Unit.” Their mission was to interrupt Bratton’s testimony about the NYPD budget to the Finance and Public Safety committees, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported.

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Eventually, the public was cleared from the Council Chamber.

“I find it regrettable that the civic disrespect displayed by a few results in the need to eject the many members of the public who are here for civil discourse,” Bratton said. “So the disrespect that’s shown to this council and to their fellow members of the public it’s unfortunate that the few, the selfish few, would seek to interrupt a public process.”

Demonstrators were protesting the City Council and commissioner’s call for 1,000 more uniformed police officers.

“No new cops, no new cops,” one demonstrator chanted.

Hecklers disrupted City Council hearings Thursday morning as Police Commissioner Bill Bratton spoke. (credit: CBS2)

Hecklers disrupted City Council hearings Thursday morning as Police Commissioner Bill Bratton spoke. (credit: CBS2)

“The NYPD does not need more police. There’s no research to show that the city needs anymore police officers,” another demonstrator said.

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Thursday’s incident was the second time in as many months that demonstrators tried to shout down the city’s top cop. The final straw came as the police commissioner was bemoaning the rising number of shootings in New York City — citizens as well as cops.

“To the NYPD, all lives matter, including blue ones,” Bratton said.

Earlier this month, Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed a $78.3 million budget, which did not include funding for additional officers. Members of the City Council vowed to fight for the extra staffing.

Meanwhile, Bratton played loyal solider, rebuffing repeated attempts by Council members to ask what he would do with more officers.

When asked by CBS2’s Kramer if he was backing off his estimation that the NYPD needs 1,000 more cops, Bratton said, “Like every police chief in America, I could always use more resources.”

The police commissioner has said he wants more cops for community policing and to beef up the anti-terror unit in the face of new and very real threats from ISIS.

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There are now 34,000 officers in the NYPD, down by 6,000 from its pre-9/11 high, Kramer reported.