NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said today that it would be a “terrible mistake” to legalize marijuana and predicted problems for states that go that course.
Still, he insisted that he supports the medical use of the drug–putting him on the same page as Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is also also opposed to following in the footsteps of Colorado and Washington, two states that have recently legalized and taxed pot.
Bill Bratton believes in the power of a good book.
The city’s new police commissioner often credits a children’s book named “Your Police” with inspiring his early interest in police work. And on Wednesday, he visited the New York Public Library’s Jefferson Market branch to share his love of reading with a new generation of New Yorkers.
Bill Bratton will march in this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, a decision that will separate the police commissioner from Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council, which is officially boycotting the Irish-American celebration.
Parade organizers have drawn fire because they do not allow groups with signs or banners identifying themselves as LGBT to march.
Planes Trains & Automobiles
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton today staunchly defended Bill de Blasio after the mayor received a torrent of criticism for placing a personal call to the NYPD following a campaign supporter’s arrest.
“I have no problem with it whatsoever. None, whatsoever,” said Mr. Bratton, weighing in for the first time on the controversy.
Ladies Who Lunch
Take a seat, Colossus. Go hang somewhere else, Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Time to turn off the lights, Lighthouse of Alexandria.
There’s a new world wonder in town: the Metropolitan Transportation Authority–at least according to Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Le Cirque, always a great place for socialite watching, was buzzing this afternoon, as New York’s finest ladies turned out to pay tribute to NYPD police commissioner Bill Bratton’s wife, Rikki Klieman Bratton. The lunch, hosted by Judi Giuliani, the wife of Rudy Giuliani, and Somers Farkas featured a drop-in from Commissioner Bratton himself, who had come to be half of what Ms. Giuliani referred to as “a power couple.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio rolled out his first major non-education policy initiative since taking office this afternoon, vowing to slow speed limits and crack down on reckless drivers with the aim of dramatically reducing pedestrian traffic fatalities.
Flanked by mourning parents of children killed in the city’s streets–some clutching pictures of their children, one mother wiping tears–Mr. de Blasio said the city is facing an “epidemic of traffic fatalities” that must be addressed.
Mayor Bill de Blasio is pleased that his new law department has agreed to pay out $18 million to settle various lawsuits stemming from the 2004 Republican National Convention, where many alleged they were illegally arrested by the NYPD.
“I’ll simply say I’m glad the case is settled,” Mr. de Blasio told reporters this afternoon, speaking at a press conference outlining his plan to reduce traffic fatalities. “I have spoken before about my concerns about how that situation was handled at the time and I’m glad we’re moving forward.”
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton was officially sworn into office today and made clear in his opening remarks that there’s a new top cop in town.
Notably, while former Commissioner Ray Kelly was relentlessly criticized–including by Mr. Bratton’s new boss, Mayor Bill de Blasio–for alienating communities of color, Mr. Bratton vowed to fix the problem and reestablish trust in the NYPD.
Bill Bratton may be the new top cop in the NYPD–after previously holding the same post under former Mayor Rudy Giuliani–but even he doesn’t have access to every room at the department headquarters.
Asked today about the NYPD’s controversial surveillance program, Mr. Bratton said it was important “to understand the parameters that … legally you need to operate with” before pivoting to say he still needed to do a full evaluation of the system–and still needed to get the necessary clearances to do so.