By Rory Carroll
If Bill Bratton’s record in Los Angeles is any guide, New York will see little dramatic reduction in the police tactic of stop-and-frisk but improved targeting and community relations will soothe resentment.
New Yorks newly named police commissioner presided over a surge of stop-and-frisk while running the LA police department but softened the political impact by reaching out to black and Latino community leaders.
Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, who was elected on a promise of curbing the controversial tactic, appears to be calculating his appointee will finesse but not end it. Critics say the policy in its current form unfairly targets young minority men, an accusation which dogged the outgoing mayor, Michael Bloomberg.
Bratton, 66, who served as New Yorks police commissioner from 1994 to 1996 before moving to LA, repeated his support for stop-and-frisk in a briefing to reporters on Thursday, saying it should be used in correct doses, like chemotherapy.
“At a time when police and community should be so much closer together, that there should be a bond of legitimacy and trust between them, its not the case in so many communities in this city. Its unfortunate. But it can be corrected.”
During his 2002-2009 stint in LA, he had helped bring “a police force that was literally at war with its African American community … to a position now … where there has been incredible improvement in those relationships,” he said. “That can happen and will happen here in New York City.”