New York City police Commissioner Bill Bratton slammed Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz in a Saturday op-ed in the New York Daily News.
In recent days, Bratton, a life-long police officer and former Los Angeles Police Department chief, has made no secret of his feelings about Texas Sen. Cruz’s proposal to have police “patrol” Muslim neighborhoods in the wake of terrorist attacks in Brussels.
“We do not ‘patrol and secure’ neighborhoods based on selective enforcement because of race or religion, nor will we use the police and an occupying force to intimidate a populace or a religion to appease the provocative chatter of politicians seeking to exploit fear,” Bratton wrote in the Saturday piece.
He called Cruz’s views on the topic “fiction.”
“[Cruz] tried to depict the demise of the [NYPD Demographics Unit], as other ill-informed observers have done, as a knuckling under to the forces of political correctness rather than the sensible administrative decision that it was,” Bratton wrote. “The fact is that the former administration had allowed the unit to dwindle down to two investigators. Why? Because the work of the unit, which was to map the ethnic makeup of the city to better understand the domain of the New York metropolitan area, was finished. The two remaining detectives simply had little to do.”
Bratton then said Cruz knows “absolutely nothing” about counterterrorism efforts in the city that bore the brunt of the September 11 attacks.
“We have in this city, without a doubt, the most effective and extensive counterterrorism capacity of any city in this country and virtually any city in the world,” he wrote. “Let me count the ways.”
He then listed five NYPD units staffed by hundreds of officers dedicated to counterterrorism, including the Joint-Terrorism Task Force with the FBI, the NYPD Counterterrorism Bureau and the NYPD Intelligence Bureau.
“Sen. Cruz’s references to the discontinuance of the Demographics Unit shows he has been hoodwinked by a 21st century fairy tale that refuses to die,” Bratton wrote. “He uses it in tandem with his suggestions that the police create a looming presence to intimidate Muslim neighborhoods with a show of force.”
Bratton then pointed out that more than 900 New York police officers are Muslim and many of them are military veterans.
“Ted Cruz and others seem to be willing to sideline [constitutional] principles because what they stand for shifts with the tide of the campaign and the shrillness of the name-calling,” Bratton wrote. “But as it has been said, when you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything. Sen. Cruz needs to do some homework before he speaks again.”