Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commission Bill Bratton today condemned the murdering of five Dallas police officers shot to death while protecting the right of Black Lives Matter marchers to protest the police killings of two black men in Louisiana and Minnesota .
At the same time the mayor and the city’s top cop outlined moves to further safeguard the rank-and-file law enforcement officers from further possible acts of violence while allowing Black Lives Matter activists here to gather and voice their concerns about the need for police reforms.
“We stand in solidarity with the people of Dallas, for the police officers of Dallas – their families. There’s such agony right now because of this heinous attack. And let’s be very clear, this is an evil, an unacceptable attack. It was an attempt to undermine our values and any attempt at peaceful democratic protest. This was an effort to undermine everything our democracy is about. And I want to emphasize that an attack on our police is an attack on all of us. It is an attack on our larger society and everything we hold dear,” said de Blasio.
“The officers in Dallas were assassinated in cold blood. And we know their families are in tremendous pain right now, but it is important to recognize that police officers and their families all over the country and in this city are feeling a very real pain as well,” he added.
De Blasio said there is no evidence of a specific threat directed here, but he and Bratton are being exceedingly vigilant about any and all information available about upcoming protests and other activities.
“We are taking a number of important precautions. No officers will be patrolling solo. Everyone will be paired up for their safety. There will be a very substantial police presence at all protests. We’re going to make sure there are plenty of officers to keep everyone safe, and so officers will have plenty of backup and support. And we will be vigilant for any information that may cause us to take any strategic changes or actions,” said de Blasio.
In regard to any further protests, de Blasio said police will instruct the protesters as to what’s appropriate to do, where’s it’s appropriate to be, and they’ll make very, very clear to the protesters what those limits are.
“We do not want to see anything that would create a harm to anyone. We do not want to see traffic delayed more than it has to be, so there’s going to be clear, clear lines. And the protesters need to be very clear about the fact that once the police warn them that they are suspect to arrest, that’s a very, very serious statement – and that anyone who does not abide by the instructions of the police will be arrested,” he said.
Bratton said in his 45 years years in the police business he’s never seen anything quite like it in terms of a directed attack against police officers very specifically because they were wearing a blue uniform.
“It’s something that we cannot tolerate. We cannot tolerate racial injustice. We can also not tolerate injustice directed against our police forces,” he said.
Meanwhile, Central Brooklyn Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, a member of Congressional Black Caucus leadership and the House Judiciary Committee, released the following statement on the tragic shootings this week:
“The unspeakably tragic events in Dallas, suburban Minneapolis and Baton Rouge shock the conscience. Sadness and despair have descended on America. Outrage is festering in many quarters. In times like these, America must rise to the occasion through unity under the umbrella of love. Violence is never the answer to injustice. We are all God’s children.”
Central Brooklyn State Sen. Jesse Hamilton said now is a moment for our common humanity to act as a salve for all the hurt that has emerged from a truly horrifying series of events over the past three days.
“In the days to come, we must dedicate ourselves to the work ahead. Consoling the grieving, acting in unison to speak out against violence, rebuilding confidence in policing and our justice system, promoting positive police-community relations, and reflecting on what longer-term changes we ought to institute, those are among the tasks that require our urgent attention,” said Hamilton.
“What we must not do, what I demand we collectively reject: the temptation to give in to anger, desolation, and despair. Anger provides no answer to anguish. Yes, today we confront heart-rending injury and loss. But we must hold tight to the abiding belief that justice prevails. And what’s more, commit to putting in the work so justice will prevail.”