The recent waves of passive aggression between NYPD commissioners past and present Ray Kelly and Bill Bratton started when Bratton said he inherited a department with “awful” morale because of an overreliance on stop-and-frisk. While Kelly himself has remained silent so far, his brother called a radio show yesterday, “mad as hell,” to dub Bratton a “paranoid,” “backslapping, smiling guy.” Today, Bratton insisted it wasn’t personal — it totally seems like it is — but couldn’t help but keep up the subtle sniping.
“I stand by it,” he said of the morale complaint. “It was not meant as a shot at Ray, that is basically a fact as I understand it.”
“I should make it very clear that I have the greatest respect for Commissioner Kelly and Mayor Bloomberg for what they did,” he continued diplomatically. But he clarified: “Do I have [a] difference of leadership and management opinion about how some of that was achieved? Certainly. I am entitled to my opinion.”
He and Kelly are both professionals, Bratton said, and would shake hands and “have a little chitchat” next time they ran into each other. “Neither he nor I think that there’s anything personal here,” he told reporters, according to the Daily News. “He knows how the game is played with you guys as well as I do. We will try to stay away from giving you any additional fuel for the fire.” That fresh gasoline smell emanating from Bratton? Pay it no mind!