'It Indicates A Significant Mistrust Of This Council In The Men And Women Of The NYPD'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP)Police Commissioner Bill Bratton says the NYPD can reform itself.

Bratton told a City Council committee Monday that he’s against a package of nine bills that would impose new regulations on the nation’s largest police department.

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“It indicates a significant mistrust of this council in the men and women of the NYPD,” the commissioner said during more than two hours of testimony, WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reported.

One proposal would make it a misdemeanor to use a chokehold during an arrest. Others would require officers to identify themselves to people they stop and to inform them they can refuse to be searched.

“Probably some of the reforms are necessary. Reforms that would require more transparency to the public would be a step in the right direction,” lower Manhattan resident Gil Gordon told CBS2’s Dave Carlin.

Bratton told council members at a hearing that the legislation isn’t needed. He said the department already has addressed many of their concerns with internal reforms.

“I wish to say, respectfully and firmly, that these are the purview of the police commissioner and the Police Department and not of legislative control,” Bratton said.

Other issues, he added, were duplicative or border on micromanagement.

“It could be seen as too much, too soon,” Bratton said.

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The proposals are a response to last year’s chokehold death of Eric Garner on Staten Island and to the department’s strategy of using street stops to fight crime.

Councilman Jumaane Williams, D-Brooklyn, said the disagreement is par for the course.

“I don’t remember a time that the Police Department or the unions have agreed with any kind of reforms that are put forth,” he said.

Councilman Antonio Reynoso, D-Brooklyn, said the legislation is needed.

“The meaningful changes in reform that we’ve seen over the last couple of years have come through legislation or through the courts,” Reynoso said.

Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson said the Garner tragedy left the council little choice.

“So here we are at the crossroads, ladies and gentlemen, determined to improve relationships in our communities with police,” the Bronx Democrat said.

Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said the reforms were drafted without enough input from rank-and-file officers, Carlin reported.

“Policing policies must be left to the police management who understand the intricacies and difficulties of complex legal issues and the appropriate use of crime-fighting tactics,” Lynch said in a statement.

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