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Danette Chavis Responds To NYPD Commish Bratton’s Statement About DOJ Asking Him Not To Investigate

Black Westchester reported on Thursday that Constance Malcolm (mother or Ramarley Graham) called New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton is a “bald-faced liar,” claiming the commissioner lied about when the department could discipline the officers responsible for her unarmed son’s death four years ago.

Much to her surprise, in a meeting with U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, he broke the news that his office never told the NYPD Commish not to investigate.

“We now know that was a big lie that Bratton told,” Malcolm said Thursday at a press conference outside City Hall in lower Manhattan.

After the press caught wind of Bharara’s statement, Bratton when questioned by the media released the following statement.

“The miscommunication I think you’re referencing is, I think, in a previous hearing before the Council, I may have referenced that it was my understanding at that time that the U.S. Attorney may have asked us to put our investigation on hold. That was not the case in this instance, but as I already indicated, we on our own would step back so we don’t step on a criminal investigation that they were conducting, a civil rights investigation. So, as far as trying to make an issue out of that, Sorry. No issue. Not subject to dispute.”

Danette Chavis, Founder/CEO National Action Against Police Brutality And Murder, a grass-roots organization created in response to the epidemic of police brutality and Murder across the nation, issued a statement of her own in response.

As the commissioner of New York City’s Police Department, you have a responsibility to communicate “correct” information regarding your handling of an investigation where an unarmed man was murdered in the privacy of his home. Delays in such an investigation should not have been “put off” awaiting a decision of the district attorney seeking an indictment.The indictment which was given in the Ramarley Graham case was “tossed out” by a Criminal Court Judge, and a reconvening of a “new grand jury” did not result in an indictment. However, none of these things has anything to do with your responsibility as commissioner.

The violations that occurred, the disregard for department procedures, are all underneath your sphere of authority, and no other entity, be it the Department of Justice of otherwise should interfere in your capacity to do so. These are the very reasons “states” are provided the opportunity to conduct and govern themselves without influence or inhibitions of government. When states have “failed” to do just in accordance to law, it is at that point government assistance is called upon to investigate and discover wrong doing. As Commissioner, you are no doubt aware of these things. To plead “ignorance” would be an acknowledgement on your part to be aloof and unaware regarding the scope of your authority.

NYPD and all its operations depend upon “knowledgeable, informed leadership” and communications given by the DOJ to that leadership, warrant a correct understanding of what they consist of – particularly when reiterated to members of the council, its caucus and the bereaved family themselves. Your word has been relied upon and indeed “acted on” in forbearing in additional pursuits to get the job done. Mis-communications of this nature that are brought to your attention ought not be dismissed as “non-disputable” because the actions call into question your ability to rightly discern communicated information and whether or not such information has in fact been communicated.

And leadership has no place for disregard when called into question concerning a “failure to act” based upon alleged communications received. Power and authority should not be mis-construed as an ability to declare untruths as truths and be “dismissive” when asked for an accounting. Nor should leadership abdicate its authority to act when “acting” is expected and required. In both regards you’ve failed. And commitments to act “years down the line” while possessing the authority to “act at the time” is not what good leadership does.

Black Westchester will continue to follow this developing story!

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Black Westchester - News With The Black Point Of View is an online news magazine for people of color for Westchester and the Tri- State area of New York at every economic level. Our mission is to promote the concept of “community” through media.
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