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Bratton defends against Chris Christie criticisms

NYPD Commissioner William Bratton is shown in this

NYPD Commissioner William Bratton is shown in this file photo taken on Aug. 4, 2015. Credit: Bryan R. Smith

Gov. Chris Christie needs to focus on fighting crime in New Jersey instead of "denigrating" New York City's safest-ever summer, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Wednesday night.

"Let's get real," Bratton told cable television station NY1 in an interview. "When you live in a glass house with a lot of broken windows, I wouldn't throw a lot of stones, and I think basically, unfortunately, the governor made a bit of a fool of himself."

The interview also touched on changes needed to prevent a repeat next year of violence at last weekend's West Indian Day parade in Brooklyn.

Bratton suggested Christie perhaps sought to "deflect attention" from the latest Bridgegate scandal, with United Airlines CEO Jeffrey Smisek and two top executives resigning on Tuesday amid a federal probe of the Port Authority.

A spokesman for Christie's presidential campaign did not immediately respond Wednesday night to an email seeking comment.

In an MSNBC interview Tuesday, Christie suggested the only one touting New York City as a low-crime haven is Mayor Bill de Blasio.

"I'm just stunned, as are most people who live in this area, that this has been the safest summer in New York," the GOP contender said, shortly after de Blasio, who came to MSNBC with his wife, touted the latest police statistics. "No one else believes it, except the two people who were just on your set."

Bratton advised Christie to worry about crime in his state.

"When he gets Trenton, Newark, Camden to be anywhere near as safe as New York, then he might be able to criticize us," Bratton said.

Newark had the third highest murder rate among large cities in 2013, with 112 homicides, the FBI said.

While 401 people were killed in the Garden State in 2013, there were only 335 homicides in the city, according to the FBI crime data.

Though his former boss, Mayor Rudy Giuliani, also has criticized the current mayor's crime-fighting, Bratton pointed out that the homeless population began rising when the Republican was mayor.

Saying New York City had generous services to aid these individuals, the commissioner said the problems typically involved the 3,000 or so who resist such help.

"I will do everything I can do with my cops that is within the law to deal with that behavior," he said. "I'm not going to do anything to push my cops to break the law."

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