New York City top cop vows crackdown on wayward NYPD officers

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Political reporter Dave Evans has details on the police commissioner's blunt message to the top brass. (WABC)

Police Commissioner William Bratton signaled Thursday that he wants to remove New York Police Department officers who abuse their authority and tarnish his vision for a more tolerant force.

Bratton addressed 800 NYPD commanders Thursday morning, the start of a day-long discussion about the department's future at the new Police Academy in College Point, Queens.

Bratton said that 99 percent of NYPD officers are good, but the other 1 percent, "the brutal, the corrupt, the racist" are "poisoning the well" and will be weeded out.

"The reality is that there are some in this organization who should not be here," Bratton said. "They're not the right fit at the NYPD in 2014. There are a few - and a very few in a very large organization - who just don't get it."

The session, dubbed a "re-engineering" of the NYPD with presentations on numerous topics, included a re-emphasis on training and pending legal issues.

"They don't understand that when they take that oath of office and put that shield on, that they commit to constitutional policing, respectful policing, compassionate policing," Bratton said.

The nation's largest police department has been grappling with the fallout from the videotaped chokehold death of an unarmed man during an arrest in July. A grand jury is hearing evidence to determine whether any of the arresting officers should face criminal charges.

PBA president Patrick J. Lynch said the union will continue to back police officers at every turn.

"Police officers are entitled, like anyone else, to due process," he said. "It is our job to ensure that every officer who is accused has the same opportunity to defend him or herself as any other American. We have defended police officers from rush to judgments in the past, we are defending them today and we will continue to defend them long into the future."
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