New York City’s mayor and his police commissioner blasted media accounts portraying a fissure in their relationship following a top police official’s resignation as fabricated and outright lies.
At a hastily called news conference in Manhattan on Sunday, Bill de Blasio and William Bratton emphasized their close relationship. De Blasio called Bratton the best police chief in the country. Bratton said de Blasio was the best mayor he’d ever worked for and that the duo go out frequently with their wives.
De Blasio said he was setting the record straight after a tabloid report based on anonymous sources said he and his wife were furious at Bratton following the resignation of Chief Philip Banks III.
“I told you we can’t trust him!” Chirlane McCray, de Blasio’s wife, allegedly screamed at her husband. Banks was reportedly McCray’s first choice to lead the nation’s largest police department since he was more in sync with their ideology to end the stop, question and frisk tactic.
The mayor denied that his wife made that statement, calling it a “private conversation.”
Banks was the department’s highest-ranking black official. He was to have been named first deputy commissioner. Instead he announced his retirement Friday after reports he did not receive authority commensurate with his position.
Banks released a statement later Sunday saying he was grateful to the department and proud of the work he did, but he said he felt the position would have taken him away from the police work he “loved so much.”
Banks’ replacement will be announced Wednesday.