Police Commissioner Bill Bratton ended his second tenure as the NYPD’s top cop Friday to cheers from law enforcement personnel during a traditional “walkout” ceremony at One Police Police Plaza. But outside, a small group of demonstrators gathered to protest what they called over-zealous policing on Bratton’s watch.
During Bratton’s first stint as police commissioner, from 1994 to 1996 under Mayor Rudy Giuliani, he presided over the start of massive crime drop in New York. Supporters credited Bratton’s “Broken Window” policy, under which police aggressively cracked down on minor crimes, working on the theory major crimes would be prevented in the long run.
But that approach and the stopping and frisking of civilians – a disproportion number of them minority group members – spurred complaints of abuses of police power and civil rights violations. The so-called Stop-and-Frisk program was tamped down after Bratton’s return to the job in 2014 under Mayor Bill de Blasio. But Bratton’s second tenure was marked by the 2014 death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died after a cop put him in a chokehold.
Bratton will be succeeded by Chief of Department James O’Neill. ” I am confident that you will have as productive a collaboration with Jim as you have had with me,” Bratton wrote in his resignation letter to de Blasio.