New York’s police commissioner says the department should not have to surround its officers with officers who wear masks and are wearing body cameras, even though some departments do.
“We need to be careful in terms of the interaction of law enforcement and community members, because we do not want to become a police state, a police nation,” Commissioner William Bratton said on NBC’s “Today” show Monday.
Bratton also called for greater transparency in police use-of-force cases, and for more transparency in the use of force cases in which officers are accused of excessive force.
“In these types of situations, it’s very important for the community to know what happened, who did it, who was involved,” he said.
“And the department needs to be able to answer those questions, not be afraid to answer them, and then we need to work with the community and we need them to make sure they don’t get hurt again.”
Bratton said the department will soon begin collecting information on its use of the force cases, which will be used to analyze trends in the department’s use of deadly force, including the use-and-accuse processes.
The NYPD has been under scrutiny since its controversial police shootings of Eric Garner and Michael Brown.
It has been rocked by an internal investigation into the shooting of Officer Wenjian Liu, who is white, and the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, who also was black.
The department has also been under intense scrutiny following the death of Staten Island teenager Eric Garner in a chokehold by a police officer who used a choke hold during a traffic stop.
Bratts said the NYPD will also continue to seek more accountability in the city’s police department, and would work with lawmakers to reform the force.
He said he hoped the new policies would improve the morale of officers, but declined to comment on the effectiveness of the plan.