At helm of NYPD, Bratton will take on role of healer-in-chief of a worried Muslim community

December 6, 2013


When William J. Bratton takes over as commissioner of the New York Police Department early next year, he will inherit the country’s most powerful local counterterrorism force, but one that has alienated the city’s large Muslim community.

“We need to heal some of the wounds, reopen the communications and the partnership,” Bill de Blasio (D), the mayor-elect, said Thursday while introducing Bratton, 66, as the next police commissioner at a news conference.

Bratton will have his hands full in this role of healer-in-chief as he reassures New York’s Muslim community and other minorities that they will not be racially profiled.

The next commissioner said there are people in the city who “feel that . . . there has been unnecessary intrusion into their lives.”

In 2003 under Kelly, the NYPD launched an aggressive campaign to infiltrate certain ethnic communities in the city’s five boroughs and map where Muslims live, work, eat and pray.

Muslims in New York say they have reason to be hopeful that Bratton will change course while still protecting the country’s top terrorism target. As chief of the Los Angeles police, Bratton came to reject the idea of mapping.

“We police this city with the consent and cooperation of the community,” Bratton said in 2007, announcing his decision to abandon a mapping program. “We did not have that here, and we will not go forward with this program.”

Bratton said he didn’t want to “spread fear.”


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