Newly minted Police Commissioner Bill Bratton invoked Nelson Mandela in his first public appearance Saturday, when he addressed an audience at the headquarters of Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network. Bratton, who clashed frequently with Sharpton during the Giuliani administration, promised the NYPD would "practice what Mandela preached: freedom for all, respect for all, compassion for all." He received a round of applause when he added, "my promise to you is we will get it right in this city," according to Politicker. Sharpton, who offered his lukewarm support when Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio announced his choice of Bratton, acknowledged he had a history of public disagreements with Bratton, but said, "I don’t want the media to act as though that it’s been one-dimensional."
Sharpton said the black community was as interested in law and order as it was in ending racial profiling. "We want not only a city that doesn’t profile us, but we want a city of no crime and no violence." While he welcomed Bratton to an ovation, per The Wall Street Journal, he predicted the commissioner would "be back when we deal with things, and we’re not going to be always applauding when he comes back."