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NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton believes the brief video clip of the incident that that led to the death of Eric Garner is "certainly disturbing" and "struck a chord" with the public, he said in an interview which was broadcast live today, August 8, 2014 on CBS This Morning (7:00-9:00 AM) on the CBS Television Network.
Watch the video clip below:
In Bratton's first national television interview since the case began, Bratton said that the NYPD was still awaiting results from the District Attorney's investigation as well as an internal investigation into the events leading up to Garner's death.
"What we see is certainly disturbing. Policing unfortunately, when force is used, is never good to look at," Bratton told co-hosts Norah O'Donnell and Maurice DuBois. "This particular scene, which has been repeated thousands upon thousands of times, really has struck a chord in the public."
Bratton also addressed criticism that the NYPD's new crime initiatives target minority communities. "We are not targeting communities of color, we are targeting behavior," Bratton said.
The commissioner also touched on the recent security breach at the Brooklyn Bridge, saying that the NYPD has a "very good idea" of who was involved and that arrests would come "when we have the proof." He added that there is no suspicion that the incident was related to terrorism.
A transcript of the interview is below.
NORAH O'DONNELL: Commissioner Bill Bratton is here for his first national TV interview since this case happened. Let's talk first about this Garner case, because the chokehold has been banned, right, in the NYPD since the '90s. What happened here? Why was this violent forced used, and is it at all defensible?
BILL BRATTON: Well, there's an investigation by the District Attorney's office at the moment, and we're going to have to wait and see what the results are of that investigation. We have a parallel administrative investigation in the police department, but we don't come into it until the District Attorney finishes his look to see if this is a criminal act that was committed. So I think we're all going to have to stand by a little bit and see what he determines.
O'DONNELL: I understand that there's an investigation and that's important, but when you see this video, many people think this is over the top.
BRATTON: What you're seeing is a snippet. It's an eight-minute video, actually. And in terms of the activities before the video began, some of the activities after it ended. So that's something we have to take into account in the investigation. What we see is certainly disturbing. Policing unfortunately, when force is used, is never good to look at. This particular scene, which has been repeated thousands upon thousands of times, really has struck a chord in the public.
MAURICE DUBOIS: Commissioner, critics are blaming your "broken windows" policy. It's been hailed all around the world as successful, going after low-level crimes before big ones happen. So in this case, many people are upset, however, because they feel it's targeting communities of color. How do you respond to that?
BRATTON: We are not targeting communities of color, we are targeting behavior. And the behavior is things that are prohibited by law, breaking the law. And make no mistake about it, this city is one of the safest cities in the world today because of that targeting of not only minor crimes but serious crimes back in the 1990s. Serious crime is down dramatically, and even the quality of life behavior that is being talked about now, it's still out there quite obviously because we're still finding enforcement. Today's New York Post, you think we were being overrun by squeegee pests. They've documented three people who they've seen acting as squeegee pests. We're not being overrun. Those will be taken care of very, very quickly. But here's the dilemma. You have those who want it enforced and those who don't want to enforce it. We enforce the law. We enforce behavior, and we don't go after any class of people.
Chris Licht is the Vice President of Programming, CBS News, and Executive Producer of CBS THIS MORNING.