New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton ripped into Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Tuesday for stating that he would empower law enforcement to “patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods“ in wake of the deadly terror attacks in Brussels.
"The statements he made today is why he’s not going to become president of this country,” Bratton said at a press conference in New York. “We don’t need a president that doesn’t respect the values that form the foundation of this country,” he added, adding that he had "over 900 very dedicated officers in this department, many of whom do double duty, and they serve as active duty members of the U.S. Military in combat, something the senator has never seen."
“So before he starts denigrating any population, he should take a close look at who he’s denigrating,” Bratton continued, remarking that he took "great offense” at his remarks about American Muslims.
“The senator basically is really out of line with his comments,” he said.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who appeared alongside Bratton at the same press conference, also reproached Cruz.
"His comments are not about safety and security. It’s demagoguery,” de Blasio said.
Elaborating on his plan to take on radical Islamic terror on Tuesday, Cruz pointed to a surveillance program run by New York City’s police department that spied on New York City mosques and Muslim communities under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He blamed de Blasio for shuttering what he called the "successful" program, despite the fact that it never generated a lead or started a terror investigation.
“It’s very simple. It’s doing what law enforcement does in any circumstance,” Cruz said. “If you have a neighborhood where there is a high level of gang activity, the way you prevent it is you increase the law enforcement presence there and you target the gang members to get them off the street."