A day after the funeral of one of two police officers gunned down in their patrol car, New York City’s police commissioner called 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, New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton on Sunday said the “pent-up frustrations” that have caused people to take to the streets in past 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. 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,” he said.
Bratton said rank-and-file officers and much of the US’ police leadership feels under attack, including “from the federal government at the highest levels.”
“See us. See the police. See why they have the anxieties and the perceptions they have,” he said.
Bratton also appeared on CBS’ Face the Nation, where he defended New York City 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.”
However, he acknowledged that the morale of officers is low and said their actions “unfortunately” reflected the feelings of some toward the mayor.
Some police officers blame De Blasio for creating an atmosphere of negativity toward the New York Police Department in the city after a grand jury declined to charge an officer in the police chokehold death of Eric Garner on Staten Island.
The gesture at Ramos’ funeral came amid contentious contract negotiations with the city.
The rank-and-file police union did not claim credit for the symbolic protest, and its head, Patrick Lynch, repeatedly dodged reporters’ attempts to ask about it after Ramos’ funeral.
It was not clear if officers planned to turn their backs on De Blasio again at the funeral for Ramos’ partner. Arrangements for that service have not yet been announced.
The silent protest was a continuation of the defiance shown at a hospital after the officers’ slayings on Dec. 20, when Lynch and others turned their backs on de Blasio.
Bratton said De Blasio was “totally supportive” of officers and had contributed hundreds of millions of dollars outside the department’s budget this year, much of it focused on officer safety enhancements.
‘LIKE A CASSANDRA’: Chinese residents of Prato went into self-imposed lockdown and warned their Italian neighbors about what was coming, but were ignored In the storm of infection and death sweeping Italy, one big community stands out to health officials as remarkably unscathed — the 50,000 ethnic Chinese who live in the town of Prato. Two months ago, the country’s Chinese residents were the target of what Amnesty International described as shameful discrimination, the butt of insults and violent attacks by people who feared that they would spread the coronavirus through Italy. However, in the Tuscan town of Prato, home to Italy’s single biggest Chinese community, the opposite has been true. Once scapegoats, they are now held up by authorities as a model for early,
Reporters Without Borders has accused the Algerian government of taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to “settle scores” with independent journalists, including those covering long-running anti-government protests. In a statement signed with Algerian non-governmental organizations, the watchdog on Thursday called for the immediate release of its correspondent, Khaled Drareni, who has been in pretrial detention since Sunday after being charged with inciting an unarmed gathering and endangering national unity. Drareni has been arrested several times for covering the “Hirak” anti-government protests held in the capital, Algiers, every Friday since February last year. Imprisoning people during a pandemic is “an act of physical endangerment,”
Vietnam has lodged an official protest with China following the sinking of a Vietnamese fishing boat that it said had been rammed by a Chinese maritime surveillance vessel near islands in the South China Sea. The Vietnamese fishing vessel, with eight fishermen onboard, was fishing near the Paracel Islands (Xisha Islands, 西沙群島) on Thursday when it was rammed and sunk by the Chinese vessel, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement posted on a government Web site yesterday. All of the fishermen were picked up by the Chinese vessel alive and were transferred to two other Vietnamese fishing vessels
DIVIDED YOUTH: There is a belief that overseas students see themselves as superior, which is compounded by perceptions of their extreme wealth and multiple nationalities Chinese students flying home from overseas to escape the COVID-19 pandemic face a frosty reception from sections of the public who view them as wealthy, spoiled — and potentially contaminated. The number of officially reported cases in China has dwindled dramatically over the last month, but the country is now taking drastic steps to try and stem a second wave of infections brought in from abroad. With most international flights canceled and nearly all foreigners barred from entering the country, the vast majority of returnees are Chinese nationals, including many students. The situation has exposed animosities over class and privilege in Chinese society,