De Blasio and Bratton at the police-promotions ceremony on December 19. Photo: Mark Peterson/Redux It’s late afternoon on Friday, December 19, and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton is surprisingly serene. Fourteen floors below his office at One Police Plaza protesters are massing, once again, to block the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge. They’re chanting, “Hey, ho! Racist cops have got to go!” as a smaller, pro-cop rally starts to gather directly across the street. In the waiting room outside Bratton’s office, the flat-screen TV tuned to NY1 is playing and replaying cell-phone video showing an NYPD plainclothes cop punching a suspect as he is being handcuffed. Bratton is concerned, certainly. Yet he remains visibly unruffled, reclining in a leather armchair. A puppet replica of his late great sidekick and co-strategist, the former deputy police commissioner Jack Maple, is propped on a shelf. Yes, Bratton says, in hindsight it was probably a bad idea to sit on one side of the mayor with the Reverend Al Sharpton on the other at a City Hall press conference back in July, after the death of Eric Garner. True, his first year back atop the NYPD has been stressful, particularly in the past month. Two weeks… Read full this story
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