Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton met Thursday in Manhattan with outgoing NYPD Commissioner William Bratton and other law enforcement officials from around the nation, citing an urgent need for police-community reconciliation amid recent shootings of black men and officers.
The former secretary of state, in remarks before a closed-door discussion lasting nearly two hours at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, also pledged her support and resources to the men and women in blue who she said make daily sacrifices.
“It’s obvious that recent events — from Dallas and Baton Rouge to Milwaukee and across the country — underscore how difficult and important the work is ahead of us to repair the bonds of trust and respect between our police officers and our communities,” Clinton said. “We have to be clear-eyed about the challenges we face.”
The meeting’s participants included NYPD Chief of Department James O’Neill, who will replace Bratton on Sept. 16, and police chiefs from Seattle, Los Angeles, Tucson, Arizona, and Camden County, N.J.
“Everyone is safer when there is respect for the law, and when everyone is respected by the law,” Clinton said to the group, adding that she was there to listen. “So we have a lot of work to do together and we don’t have a minute to lose.”
Bratton, after the roundtable, said good ideas were shared.
“I think a general theme was that there is a great deal of concern about the fear that is permeating the country — fear of crime, fear of terrorism, fear of job loss,” he said. “We viewed a lot of what she has done, we viewed a lot of what she is proposing . . . In terms of law and order, she’s got a lot of experience.”
The commissioner said earlier this month in a TV interview that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump “scares the hell out of me,” but he told reporters Thursday that he would be “more than happy” to meet with Trump on law enforcement, if the candidate asked.
Bratton is leaving after 48 years of public service to take a position at Clinton-linked consulting firm Teneo Holdings.
Trump, who has positioned himself as the race’s “law-and-order candidate,” regularly commends the work of police officers at his campaign stops.
“What you do is incredible, the risks you take and the danger. . . . The last six months to a year, it’s come out more, the danger of being a policemen,” the real estate magnate said Thursday upon receiving the endorsement of North Carolina’s Fraternal Order of Police in Iredell County, N.C. “I have great respect for your courage, I have great respect for you and I am with you 100 percent.”