This is a big win for Black Lives Matter protestors.
New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton surprised everyone on Tuesday when he announced his sudden, but welcomed, resignation from the New York Police Department.
His resignation was spurred by Black Lives Matter protestors, who have essentially taken up residence in a park across the street from City Hall while making three seemingly unachievable demands. The first demand was that Bratton resign, which was unlikely considering he has made it clear he would not leave until his set retirement date next year.
The remaining demands ask that the NYPD be defunded and be completely restructured, and that reparations be paid out to victims of police brutality on people of color. Though the first “impossible” goal was achieved, these last two are highly unlikely to occur.
Bratton’s history is complicated, in that he both created the quota-driven policing system that essentially targets black communities and is one of the only white figure of relevance to acknowledge the racist history of policing in America.
In a 2015 speech at a black church in Queens, he said the following:
?Slavery, our country?s original sin, sat on a foundation codified by laws enforced by police, by slave-catchers,? Bratton said, noting that the Dutch explorer who established New York made slave-catching cops his first priority. ?Since then, the stories of police and black citizens have intertwined again and again… The unequal nature of that relationship cannot and must not be denied.?
For years, Bratton has hidden behind his quantitative theories about using quotas and data to police people, rather than acknowledge that these practices lead to oppressive and aggressive behavior against black people.
His system has become widespread and is used in many cities in America today, making it that much harder to completely rid our country of Bratton.?Much of the extreme physical violence?that spurs from targeting people of color around the country is descended from Bratton’s devised system of cracking down on people that may seem suspicious or are committing a minor infraction.
Though his resignation is a relief for many, Bill Bratton’s system is embedded in the American policing structure, and citizens must continue to combat unjustified practices in every city in order to fully uproot the system.
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