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NYPD chief: Cops feel ‘under attack’ from feds

Police nationwide believe that they are “under attack from the federal government at the highest levels,” New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton said Sunday.

“They really do feel under attack, rank-and-file officers and much of American police leadership, that they feel that they are under attack from the federal government at the highest levels,” Bratton said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

{mosads}”So that’s something we need to understand also, this sense of perception that becomes a reality,” he said. “We have a lot of talking we’re going to have to do here to understand both sides of this issue. This is not a one-sided issue.”

Bratton appeared on two Sunday morning political shows a day after a funeral in New York City for one of two officers killed in the line of duty by a man who posted messages on social media indicating he wanted to attack police because of the deaths of two African-American men killed by police.

President Obama and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio have come under criticism from police who say they are too closely siding with protestors complaining about police actions. 

Bratton said Obama should take care to consider the views of police, and to “see why they have the anxieties, the perceptions that they have.”

Obama, while expressing appreciation for the daily work of police officers, has put forward reforms in response to the protests, such as funding for police body cameras and a task force on police tactics.

Bratton said tension between police and de Blasio is likely to continue.

“I think it’s probably a rift that’s going to go on for a while longer, however we will be making efforts to sit down and talk with the union leaders in particular,” Bratton said. 

Some police officers outside the funeral for slain officer Rafael Ramos on Saturday turned their backs as de Blasio spoke. 

“I certainly don’t support that action yesterday,” Bratton said of the gesture in a separate interview Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “I think it was very inappropriate at that event.”

Bratton had previously said the move was inappropriate when officers turned their backs on de Blasio at a press conference the night the officers were killed. 

Bratton said the police and mayor tensions go beyond the immediate issue.

“The issues go far beyond race relations in this city,” he said. “They involve labor contracts; they involve a lot of history.”


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