Thankfully, this latest police casualty of the Black Lives Matter movement is very much alive and well. However, American policing is losing one of its most well-known leaders after 45 years, as New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton is expected to announce his resignation today.
The announcement comes just a day after Black Lives Matter protesters began occupying a park next to city hall in Manhattan — promising to stay until commissioner Bratton was fired, as The Guardian reports:
Protesters in New York City began occupying the park next to city hall in Manhattan on Monday, declaring they would not leave until police commissioner Bill Bratton was fired.
Organized by Millions March NYC, a group affiliated with Black Lives Matter movement, the #ShutDownCityHallNYC protest has been inspired by protesters setting up encampments in public spaces in Chicago and Los Angeles to fight for the abolition of the police.
This morning, news broke that Bratton will announce his resignation this afternoon.
Breaking News: Bill Bratton is stepping down as New York City’s police commissioner https://t.co/1xsrGzjheM
— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 2, 2016
Via The New York Times:William J. Bratton, the commissioner of the New York Police Department and the most widely recognized face in American policing, will step down from his post next month to take a job in the private sector, ending the final chapter of a 45-year career in public life that spanned the country, from Boston to Los Angeles, and reshaped perceptions of crime, the effectiveness of police officers and the image of what a police commander could be.
Mr. Bratton’s departure was to be announced Tuesday afternoon by Mayor Bill de Blasio, according to a person with direct knowledge of the planned announcement. Mr. de Blasio brought Mr. Bratton back for a second stint at the helm of the nation’s largest police force in 2014 and has consistently turned to his top police commander during the rockiest moments of his tenure.
The change came earlier than expected; last month Mr. Bratton, 68, said in an interview that he would not stay into a second term if Mr. de Blasio were re-elected next year. Mr. Bratton has said the choice of when to go was his alone.
It’s no secret that Commissioner Bratton and
Comrade Mayor Bill de Blasio were not in lockstep, as alluded to by Bratton’s statement that he would not stay on if de Blasio were re-elected next year.
And though no mention was made of the Black Lives Matter protests that kicked off yesterday to oust Bratton — and abolish police — the timing of today’s announcement can hardly be a coincidence. Did Bratton finally say, enough, I’m out? Did de Blasio press Bratton to offer himself up as a sacrifice to the Black Lives Matter movement — to throw them a bone?
Either scenario does not bode well for the city of New York or the nation. We’re already seeing the effects of low police morale and participation in places like Baltimore, where crime is rising as a result. No doubt many of the protesters outside city hall in Manhattan were too young or not alive to have witnessed the cess pool that New York City — one of the world’s great cities — had become in the 1970s, 80s and early 90s — before the likes of Bratton worked to clean it up.
I’m afraid New Yorkers are going to learn the hard way the repercussions of kowtowing to groups that suggest we’d be better off abolishing the forces that protect our rule of law. Talk about throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]