New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Sunday his department's probe into the officer-involved fatal chokehold of Eric Garner remains "on standby" until the Justice Department finishes its own investigation.
Bratton suggested that, while the New York Police Department had finished its internal investigation, it would continue to wait until the DOJ reached a conclusion in its civil rights investigation before proceeding.
"We're on standby until they finish their case," Bratton said on CBS's "Face the Nation."
He said his department was asked to hold off releasing its findings by U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta Lynch, who, on Monday, will be sworn in as the next U.S. attorney general.
The department has reviewed whether any administrative rules were broken, a probe launched after a special grand jury decided in December not to indict Daniel Pantaleo, the officer involved in the fatal incident last year.
Bratton insisted that cases like that of Garner and Freddie Gray, whose death in police custody sparked protests that turned violent in Baltimore on Saturday, were a "flashpoint" and not the norm.
"The trending over time is that there has been a dramatic improvement in the crime situation in America, and with that improvement, with crime down, we're also seeing a significant fallout in police actions that result in arrests, for example," Bratton said.
John Miller, a New York deputy police commissioner, similarly argued on the same program that video footage from cellphones "creates this false perception" of an increase in officer-related deaths.
On Sunday, Bratton also brushed off the publicly fractious relationship between police and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) around the time of the Garner case, noting that a spat over union contracts had mostly been resolved.
"I think we have recovered from that," Bratton said.