De Blasio, Bratton and Sharpton look to Nelson Mandela for guidance on running NYC

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NEW YORK (PIX11) — Two days after mayor-elect Bill de Blasio presented Bill Bratton as his pick for police commissioner, the two joined with the Reverend Al Sharpton at his Harlem headquarters. But it was the late Nelson Mandela who took center stage. His teachings inspiring a vision of the city these three men say they share.

“Anyone who tries to tell you that you can’t have safety and constituional rights at the same time, that you cant have a strong society and a fair society at the same time, I would remind them of the example of Nelson Mandela,” said de Blasio.

It’s no secret that while serving as the citys top cop under Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Bratton and Sharpton were at times adversaries.  But there was no hint of any tension today.

“I like being a cop because i know what  cops can do when we get it right,” said Bratton. “My promise to you is we will get it right in this city.”

A promise Councilman Jumaane Williams hopes he can keep.  Williams who is running for council speaker has been an outspoken critic of stop and frisk, charging the procedure all too often involves racial profiling.

“What do you see as Bratton’s biggest challenge? The biggest challenge is keeping the best of what was done, and making sure you engage and understand the problems and concerns of all of the communities in the city but again cautiously optimisitic,” said Williams.

“Our commitment to you is your police in your city will be respectful,” said Bratton. “It will practice what Mandela preached freedom for all, respect for all compassion for all.”


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