New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, alongside NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton and other police representatives, announced they are working to revamp the NYPD training program in the wake of the Eric Garner decision.
Garner, a 43-year-old black man, died after being wrestled to the ground during an arrest attempt by Daniel Pantaleo, a white NYPD officer. A grand jury decided not to indict Pantaleo for Garner’s death on Wednesday.
De Blasio elaborated that changes would be implemented in how police officers talk, listen and interact with New York citizens. “People need to know that brown lives and black lives matter as much as white lives,” he said in Thursday’s news conference.
Commissioner Bratton, whom de Blasio called “the most successful police leader in the country,” said the police training would not be a “one-shot affair,” but built into officers’ jobs going forward.
Bratton added that, starting Friday, officers involved in the Eric Garner incident would be also brought in for questioning by internal affairs investigators.
“We are all responsible now,” de Blasio said. “The weight of history cannot be our excuse.”