Mayor Bill de Blasio addresses police-community relations after Eric Garner death

Posted: Updated:

Mayor Bill de Blasio hosted a roundtable on police-community relations following the death of a Staten Island father while in police custody.

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton, Rev. Al Sharpton, Staten Island clergy members and residents attended the meeting at City Hall to comment on the death of Eric Garner.

Garner's death was caught on video, which shows him being brought down by an officer in an apparent chokehold, sparking a citywide uproar over police tactics. Garner was under arrest for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes.

Bratton met with the president and CEO of the NAACP Wednesday to discuss how to move forward after what happened to Garner. He said, "The NYPD is committed to building relationships with grassroots organizations, such as the NAACP, to ease tension in our communities as we begin a major reform of the department's training and policies."

Community groups however say new department rules and training are not enough. They believe a lack of accountability has allowed police officers to take strong and sometimes deadly action against civilians.

Many local elected officials are also demanding that officers wear video cameras. They wrote a group letter to the mayor saying in part, "Without video footage, the story of Eric Garner's death may have never been told." They added, "These cameras will serve as a check on potential civil rights violations and protect police officers from false allegations of misconduct."

The circumstances that led to Garner's death remain under investigation.

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