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De Blasio, Bratton caught up in firestorm of Eric Garner case

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STATEN ISLAND (PIX11) -- NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton kept a frantic pace Tuesday evening, visiting all five boroughs for this year’s “National Night Out” campaign.

But the campaign’s goal, to foster a better relationship between police and the communities it serves, is not the only task at hand these days for Mr. Bratton.

There’s also the matter of PBA Union President Pat Lynch.

“Do we have differences of options from time to time? Of course, that’s the nature of relationships. But we both have a great deal of respect for the men and women of the New York City Police Department,” said Bratton.

Lynch, who represents some twenty thousand officers, tore into the administration’s handling of Eric Garner’s video-recorded fatal police encounter, starting with Mayor Bill de Blasio and Rev. Al Sharpton’s presence in the ongoing debate.

“The emotion of the street is what’s happening. I think the mayor needs to support New York City police officers. Unequivocally say it, and unequivocally say resisting arrest hurts everyone,” said Lynch.

“We’re not being supported, because those that are critical of police officers, race baiters, Al Sharptons, whose business it is to stir the street, not make the safe street, they’re being put on a pedestal, while police officers are being knocked down off that step,” said Lynch.

Lynch also criticized the city Medical Examiner’s preliminary findings, which classifies Garner’s death as a homicide and the result of a chokehold.

“I’ve never seen a document that was more political than that press release released by the M.E.’s office.”

Lynch added, “There’s an attitude on our city streets today that it is acceptable to resist arrest. That attitude is a direct result of the lack of respect for law enforcement.”

The Commissioner insists whatever preliminary comments he made regarding the alleged use of an NYPD prohibited chokehold will ultimately be determined after a full investigation.

“The preliminary statements by the way, is that it appeared to be a chokehold.  But until there is a finding of fact, we won’t know for certain, in terms of what it appeared to be. But like everyone else, we’ll need to determine exactly what happened during that scuffle,” said Bratton.