Rev. Al Sharpton supports Bill Bratton - FOX 35 News Orlando

Rev. Al Sharpton supports Bill Bratton

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When Bill Bratton headed the NYPD in the 1990s, Rev. Al Sharpton often spoke out against Bratton, criticizing the way he ran the NYPD.

The National Action Network, the organization that Sharpton heads up, gathered Saturday morning to honor the memory of Nelson Mandela.

Also in attendance, was Mayor-elect Bill De Blasio, and the soon-to-be Police Commissioner Bill Bratton.

While talk focused on Mandela's legacy, officials also addressed the NYPD’s controversial ‘stop and frisk’ policy.

“You cannot mourn Mandela and then profile his grandchildren” Sharpton said.

De Blasio also addressed the issue of stop and frisk.

Citing needed reform to the practice as one of his reasons for choosing Bratton as the city's next top cop.

The Mayor-elect, in an effort to calm worries about the soon-to be police commissioner’s past, said that Bratton told him you can’t break the law to enforce the law.

Bratton headed Boston's police department and then New York's police department under then Mayor Giuliani and then eventually the LAPD.

Sharpton said it was Bratton's work in LA that changed his mind about him.

“They kept telling me the Police Chief is really trying to bring the city together” Sharpton said. “Who Bratton??” he then laughed along with others in the crowd.

However during his own news conference..

Councilman Charles Barron of Brooklyn criticized the choice of Bratton.

“Stop and frisk, using race as a basis, for it was Bratton's brainchild” Barron said.

This will be the second time Bratton will be succeeding Ray Kelly, the longest serving commissioner in NYPD history.

Bratton says he's committed to running a respectful police force.

“I like being a cop,” Bratton said. “Because I know what cops can do when we get it right.

My promise to you is we will get it right in this city.”

A federal court ruling that ordered major reforms to the stop and frisk tactic is on hold pending an appeal.

Both Bratton and De Blasio take office on January 1st.

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