Bloomberg defends D.C. police, and remembers Democratic shutdowns

Bloomberg and Kelly. (Edward Reed via NYC.gov)
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Mayor Michael Bloomberg this morning defended the police officers involved in yesterday's shooting at the Capitol, saying they faced the same kind of instant judgments as officers in New York City.

"Once again we're going to sit around here and every expert will analyze and re-analyze what the law enforcement officers did," Bloomberg said during his regular Friday morning radio show, saying it's too easy to criticize police action after the fact. "God bless them, they had to make a decision."

A woman was shot and killed by police in Washington, D.C. yesterday afternoon, after attempting to ram her car into a White House barricade and initiating a police chase. Law enforcement later revealed she was unarmed, prompting questions about whether she presented an immediate danger. 

"In business you'd say, let's get the lawyers, let's get the experts involved, let's get all the information," Bloomberg said. "A cop is out there, well trained, but you can't learn everything, can't learn every part of Constitutional law. He has to make a decision about what he observes that instant, and it's life threatening for him and for the community. There's no better solution."

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Bloomberg said while the NYPD isn't immune to mistakes, police here have better records than cops anywhere else. "When you look at the percentage of mistakes made compared to other cities' police departments, New York City cops shoot such a low percentage of the time that you have to re-do the chart," he said. "The number of decisions that they make that are wrong is very small."

Bloomberg also talked about the ongoing shutdown of the federal government, faulting a "handful of Republicans" but declining to pin all of the blame on the Republican Party more broadly.

"This isn't something owned by the Republicans," he said, in keeping with his aggressively nonpartisan posture. "We've been through periods where the left wing of the Democratic Party has done similar kinds of things."

"Eventually the public gets fed up and throws the bums out," he said. "The Whig Party came and went."