Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday defended Black Lives Matter as hitting “the right note,” while his police commissioner, William Bratton, took a different tack and denounced some of the rhetoric associated with the movement as “poison talk.”
Bratton, seated beside de Blasio at an event at NYPD headquarters in lower Manhattan, said the messaging behind the demonstrations stereotypes police officers as bad people.
“We come in all races and colors, especially here in New York,” he said. “To call them racist, all of them, or killers, all of them, is to make the same sin they are protesting. You can’t say that people are bad because they are blue.”
De Blasio, a Democrat, said he saw Black Lives Matter as a “broader, positive movement,” though he added that he has “only disdain” for protesters who were out simply to “denigrate” police.
The Black Lives Matter protests have ramped up in Long Island, New York City and nationwide since last week’s deaths of two black men in Louisiana and Minnesota and the slayings of five police officers in Dallas.
Earlier Monday, de Blasio told CNN’s “New Day” that Black Lives Matter is a “force for good” that has “has changed the national discussion for the better”
Bratton, meanwhile, in a Sunday interview with WABC radio host Rita Cosby, contrasted Black Lives Matter with the civil-rights movement, saying the latter focused on desegregation, jobs, education and voting rights while the more recent campaign is focused “entirely” on cops.
He said of protesters’ ire toward cops, “Standing there yelling and screaming at them, that accomplishes nothing.”
With Alison Fox and Anthony M. DeStefano