NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton is battling back against criticism from a police union official that crime is somehow surging in the city.
"I'm not only refuting, I'm rebutting categorically," he said of the comments from Edward Mullins, president of the Sergeant Benevolent Association, who earlier this month drew media attention by saying that the city may be too unsafe to host the Democratic National Convention in 2016.
At a news conference on Thursday, Bratton used large charts to showcase statistics showing a decline in crime. Bratton said serious felonies were down by almost 4 percent in 2014 so far. He also said murders were trending toward a modern low.
“I’m sorry, one squeegee pest is not an invasion,” he said. “Times Square [is] not being overrun by Elmos.”
Mullins told Newsday that city policies were creating the “perception the city is going to slide back to the days of old” when crime was at higher rates.
Bratton also dismissed a recent Quinnipiac University poll that showed his approval rating had dropped since Eric Garner was killed July 17 in a police chokehold while being arrested for selling untaxed cigarettes on Staten Island. His death has led to criticism of the NYPD’s strategy of focusing on low-level crime, the so-called “broken windows” approach to policing.
“I am police commissioner of the City of New York, I am not an elected official, so polls relative to my popularity … aren’t really of any great consequence to me,” Bratton said on Thursday.