NYPD commissioner William Bratton is backing an officer who a Bronx state assemblyman charged roughed him up during a dispute at a party in a public housing area over the weekend.
Bratton acknowledged Monday that freshman Assemblyman Michael Blake (D) had filed an excessive force complaint against the cop with the Civilian Complaint Review Board after Saturday’s incident and that the department would wait for the outcome of that probe, which the commissioner said could take on average about nine months.
“There will be no apology forthcoming from me,” Bratton told reporters during a news briefing in the Bronx. “We will see where the investigation goes from here.”
Blake alleged that he was roughed up after he tried to calm things down during an afternoon altercation at the Morris Houses in Claremont Village. Blake said an officer grabbed him and threw him up against a gate. It was only when a sergeant recognized him that Blake said he was released with an apology.
Bratton said that after Blake held his own news conference outside police headquarters Monday that he invited him inside to explain to him the protocols for investigating allegations of excessive force. Bratton added that he and his staff would be briefing the legislator and his staff on current NYPD use of force policies.
Police were attempting to intervene in an altercation during a barbecue held at Morris Houses when Blake got involved and later alleged that cops put him in a bear hug before moving him aside, said Bratton. Blake may have placed his hand on the shoulder of one of the cops, a movement which Bratton said apparently prompted another officer to put Blake in the bear hug. Bratton said he didn’t know if Blake first identified himself when he attempted to intervene.
Bratton said no action would be taken against the officer who touched Blake. The officer is a neighborhood coordinating officer, a new job given to engage police with communities.
“I have no reason to believe the officer behaved in a significantly inappropriate manner,” said Bratton, adding that he wouldn’t be taking any action against the cop. “We will see what the investigation determines but I see no reason to remove that officer.”
On another front, Bratton said he wasn’t afraid of being fired by Mayor Bill deBlasio as Black Lives Matter demonstrators wanted Monday. Cops would protect the protestors as they demonstrated in City Hall Park but they wouldn’t be allowed to stay when the area closed at 11:30 P.M. Monday night, said Bratton. Protestors had threatened to occupy the park until Bratton resigned or was fired.
Earlier in the day at police headquarters Bratton promoted ten officers to the rank of detective. They are officers who continued to work despite having suffered through illnesses and disabilities .