Interviews

Police union chiefs meet with de Blasio amid tensions

Former NYPD lieutenant weighs in

 

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," December 30, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: You are looking live at New York's Times Square. In 32 hours, this place will be jumping. Folks will be whooping it up, but -- but will police be standing down?

Welcome, everybody. I'm Neil Cavuto.

As Americans prepare for the ball to drop, New York City bracing for the next shoe to drop, anti-police protesters already vowing to disrupt this year's festivities, and now worries that police may be holding back out of fear, maybe for their own safety.

To David Lee Miller in New York City on the staggering stats -- David Lee.

DAVID LEE MILLER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Neil, police protesting the policies of New York's Mayor Bill de Blasio, and because, as you point out, they do fear for their own safety are virtually ignoring all low-level crime in New York following the execution-style slayings of those two police officers, that according to a report in today's New York Post.

And statistics obtained by Fox News show the following, traffic stops in the last week-and-a-half down 94 percent, drug arrests down 84 percent, overall arrests in New York City down 66 percent.

In an effort to try and improve relations with the police, the mayor met this afternoon with five police unions, as well as the police commissioner. Camera crews were kept away from the closed-door meeting at a police academy. Among those in attendance, the head of the Police Benevolent Association, who accused the mayor of having blood on his hands after two police officers were slain.

Meanwhile, a coalition of activists held a news conference asking police this afternoon to ignore the mayor's request to suspend protests and to demonstrate on New Year's Eve. The demonstrators, citing the deaths of unarmed black men in police confrontations, are planning to march into New York's Times Square.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This has got to stop. And it is up to us to stop it. And there will be no new year with the same old mess going down.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MILLER: In recent years, more than a million people have celebrated in Times Square. And tomorrow should be no different. Security will be tight. Barricades are, in fact, already in place on neighboring streets to control the crowd. Reaction from the potential revelers is mixed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People helping you, you're fighting against them. So, it doesn't make any sense to me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm a bit hesitant to come here tomorrow night because of those protests.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I trust the police. I don't trust the people that are rioting.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The city probably has got a handle on it and they are fairly safe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Disappointed that people are spending their time protesting, when the police spend so much effort to make that such a safe environment for us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can't live your life thinking something bad is going to happen. You got to think good things are going to happen. And that's the way I believe. So, I think everybody should come and have a great time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MILLER: And in the next few minutes, we expect that New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton is going to hold a news conference, Neil, to discuss the security measures that are going to be in place.

It will be also interesting, Neil, if he addresses the rift with the police department and the mayor. He was in attendance today at that meeting. I'm sure he is going to be asked about it, that news conference slated to begin at 4:30 East Coast time -- Neil.

CAVUTO: All right, David Lee, thank you very much.

Again, that meeting is happening behind closed doors. Regardless, what a mess. The mayor and police union leaders are trying to fix it, we are told.

To former NYPD Lieutenant John Rafferty on what he sees coming out of it.

What do you think, Lieutenant?

JOHN RAFFERTY, CEO, WATCH GUARD 24/7: Well, I would think there would be a public statement made by the mayor. But I think the actions of the mayor now are going to be looked at to see what happened at this meeting.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: What do you want to hear from him?

RAFFERTY: I want to see an apology.

And I think we have a major, unfortunately, that has divided this city by race and has turned society against the cops. We have protests going on every other day here putting cops at risk. You have people in the news sneaking up behind cops, trying to antagonize these cops to get them in predicaments for a lawsuit, to videotape, then put them on the Internet.

You need to respect the cops. The cops are there to protect you. They're there to protect the city. It is the largest, biggest city in the world. It's the safest city in the world. And the New York City Police Department has, you know, done it for years time and time again.

They're now coming with New Year's Eve. Here's another element of these protesters coming there. And we need to put an end to it.

CAVUTO: Do you think that -- I don't know if you caught that editorial in The New York Times, but the gist of it was, quit whining, quit bellyaching. What do you make of that?

RAFFERTY: I look at it like this, is that the police want to work.

The police are working with an administration that has their hands tied. When the police are being questioned for every little thing, the police are out there. They want to work. They have families. They have lives. It's not...

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: Does that apply to minority officers as well?

RAFFERTY: Absolutely.

CAVUTO: Yes.

RAFFERTY: The New York City Police Department is the most diverse police department there is. The whole thing is, is that you have single-handedly taken the police department and tied their hands in trying to do police work. And you see it. There is a reduction in crime.

There is a reduction -- I'm sorry -- in arrests and summonses, 50 less summons.

CAVUTO: Is that an edict that's gone out, cool it on the traffic tickets, cool it on the summons? And does it extend to anything worse?

RAFFERTY: Absolutely not.

I think cops now realize that they have an administration behind them that's not going to support them. And I think that's evident.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: So, if they don't hear an apology out of the mayor...

RAFFERTY: Absolutely.

CAVUTO: There is going to be another funeral this weekend for that second officer who was killed.

RAFFERTY: Officer Liu.

CAVUTO: And the mayor will go to that one.

Do you think your colleagues will turn their back on him?

RAFFERTY: I think they have the right to.

I think that it has been clearly stated that the mayor has turned his back on the police. When he came out after Eric Garner's decision and basically, instead of saying that the criminal justice system heard the facts, we need to support it, be it regardless of whatever your decision is...

CAVUTO: Right.

RAFFERTY: ... when the cops lock people up, they go in front of the same criminal justice system. And if they get off, the cops aren't out there rioting after they chase the guy with a guy down the street, and be it a group of their peers decided that they are not guilty.

This cop faced a grand jury, was found not guilty. I don't understand the protests. And I don't understand why we have a mayor that is not taking a stand and saying that we need to accept our criminal justice is working properly. Support our cops, whatever their beliefs are. But the protests, at this point, when does it end? When is the mayor going to say enough is enough with this?

CAVUTO: So, an apology and nothing short of it is high on your priority?

RAFFERTY: I think it is a lot more than an apology. I think we need to see actions. I think we need to cut ties with people like Al Sharpton, who just perpetuates problems of race.

CAVUTO: Well, good luck with that. That's not going to happen.

RAFFERTY: Well, I mean, listen, he is already in office.

I think, at this point, he could turn around and take a look to see, he has three years left. What does he want to be remembered as, as the mayor of New York City? Does he want to be remembered as the worst mayor as he is leading down that path as of now, or does he want to turn it around and get this society and the city back together and acknowledge you have the best city, the best police department in the world working for you who has now turned their backs on him?

CAVUTO: Lieutenant, we shall watch. We will know very, very shortly. Thank you very much.

RAFFERTY: Thank you. Thank you.

CAVUTO: Happy New Year. All right.

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