NEW YORK - A day after the funeral of one of two police officers gunned down in their patrol car, the city's police commissioner called yesterday for a "lot less rhetoric and a lot more dialogue" to defuse the tension between police officers and the population they protect.
Speaking on NBC's "Meet The Press," Commissioner William Bratton said that the "pent-up frustrations" that have caused people to take to the streets in recent weeks go far beyond policing policies across the nation.
"This is about the continuing poverty rates, the continuing growing disparity between the wealthy and the poor," he said. "It's still about unemployment issues. There are so many national issues that have to be addressed that it isn't just policing, as I think we all well know."
Bratton said that rank-and-file officers and much of America's police leadership feels under attack, including "from the federal government at the highest levels."
He urged: "See us. See the police. See why they have the anxieties and the perceptions they have."
Bratton also appeared on CBS' "Face the Nation," where he defended Mayor Bill de Blasio, saying it was wrong for hundreds of police officers to turn their backs to a video monitor outside a Queens church as de Blasio spoke at the funeral of Officer Rafael Ramos.
"I certainly don't support that action," he said. "That funeral was held to honor Officer Ramos. And to bring politics, to bring issues into that event, I think, was very inappropriate."