New York Post
October 3, 2014

 

Abusive cops are ‘poisoning the well': Bratton

By Kirstan Conley and Georgett Roberts

Abusive cops are “poisoning the well,” Police Commissioner Bill Bratton told a meeting of 700 NYPD bosses on Thursday — before showing a video montage of beatings, stompings and other violence against suspects.

“There are some officers in the department, unfortunately, who should not be here,” Bratton said. “They are brutal, they are corrupt, and we work very aggressively to deal with that.”

In one clip on a video titled “What Would You Do?” a cop is seen pummeling a handcuffed shoplifting suspect inside a Target store’s holding cell while the suspect does nothing but back into a wall.

In another one, a plainclothes narcotics officer stomps on a suspect’s head while other cops have him pinned to the floor of an apartment being raided.

“I’m particularly ashamed of that one,” Deputy Commissioner Joseph Reznick said. “I was head of Narcotics at that time.”

Bratton drove home a zero-tolerance policy for “brutality, corruption, racism and incompetence.”

He said he and the agencies that oversee the department will work with unions to weed out bad cops.

“There are some in the organization who shouldn’t be here,” he said. “They’re not the right fit [for] the NYPD of 2014. There are a few, very few, in a very large organization, who just don’t get it. We will separate them out.”

When officers take the oath and put on their shields, they must be doing “the right thing for the right reasons” and “commit to obey the law,” the top cop added.

Reznick introduced the video showing the kind of behavior that won’t be tolerated, and called it “disturbing.”

“If a picture is worth a thousand words, then I can’t imagine how much a video could be worth, especially when it is used against us in a lawsuit,” he said.

The short film features several attacks by cops on suspects. Some occurred as recently as August.

One of the best-known clips came from Times Square, where a cop who has since been fired knocked a bicyclist off his ride with an unprovoked body-check.

Another well-known clip showed a cop walking up and kicking a restrained suspect in the head on a Brooklyn sidewalk.

The NYPD’s version shows a circle around the suspect’s head to highlight the kick. It then focuses on the hand and arm of a sergeant who pushes the attacking cop off.

“That’s how it ends. What would you do?” cops are asked as the video ends.