NYPD Chief Bill Bratton's Next Stop: Private Consulting Firm Tied to the Clintons

August 03, 2016


Christina Heatherton

assistant professor of American studies at Trinity College. She’s co-editor of Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter.

On Tuesday, New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton announced he is resigning next month. Bratton has served as the NYPD commissioner twice. He’s also served as head of the Boston and Los Angeles police departments. But Bratton’s resignation doesn’t mean he’s retiring. His next job will be at Teneo Holdings, a global private consulting firm with controversial ties to Hillary Clinton. Bratton will be the chairperson of a new branch of the company called Teneo Risk. For more, we speak with Christina Heatherton, assistant professor of American studies at Trinity College. She’s co-editor of "Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter."


This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Let’s talk about where Bratton is going now. Do you know, Christina, the firm that he’s going to be working with, the private security firm?

CHRISTINA HEATHERTON: Yes. The private security firm that Bratton will be working—transitioning into is, I believe, called Teneos [sic]. But I think I’m just a little nervous on camera right now. But it’s worth considering this. You know, The New York Times


CHRISTINA HEATHERTON: Teneo. The New York Times and other media outlets are presenting this shift into private service as a break, out of a long, storied history of over four decades of public service. And this is completely disingenuous. Throughout his career, Bratton has consulted with private security firms. He has consulted with foreign governments. He has been a part of efforts to export the broken windows policing model around the world.

And what we talk about in Policing the Planet is how broken windows policing is the political expression of neoliberalism at the urban scale. And what do I mean by this? Broken windows policing emerges in the period of deindustrialization. It emerges as you have an expansion of unemployment and homelessness. It emerges as you have the expansion of the real estate sector and financialization. So, suddenly, you have a lot of people who are out of work and out of homes in a landscape littered with actual broken windows. By turning those people into criminal problems, problems that the police are supposed to manage, versus other sectors of the state, you can facilitate the transformation of cities into sites of capital accumulation. This is what’s being exported. This is what’s being globalized. This is Bratton’s legacy. And this is how broken windows policing has traversed the world.

AMY GOODMAN: And Teneo’s links to the Clinton—the Clintons?

CHRISTINA HEATHERTON: Right. So, this is a firm that was founded by one of—by Bill Clinton’s former bagman. He’s somebody who’s been a key part of the Clinton Global Initiative. He headed the Clinton Institute in Ireland. This is Douglas [Band]. And I think what’s important to think about in this regard is that, you know, ostensibly, this is a Democratic firm or a ties with—an organization with deep Democratic ties that Bratton is about to move to. Bill Clinton, as well as Tony Blair, used to be on the board of this organization. And I think what’s important about that is that the most egregious violations of broken windows policing around the country have actually been enforced under Democratic mayors, liberal mayors, mayors like Bill de Blasio in New York, mayors like Antonio Villaraigosa in Los Angeles, mayors like Martin O’Malley. And so, when we think about the legacy of broken windows, it’s a mistake to think about this as just a Democrat-Republican, left-or-right issue. This has had bipartisan consensus, and this is evidenced by Bratton’s new job.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, of course, I would not be surprised, for those who remember the former police commissioner, Ray Kelly, after his first stint as New York City [commissioner], ended up going into the Clinton administration working for the Treasury Department. So, I would not be at all surprised if Bill Bratton, if Hillary Clinton gets elected president, ends up with some kind of a law enforcement post in a second Clinton administration.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, I want to thank you all for being with us. Of course, we’ll continue to follow this. Christina Heatherton is a professor at Trinity College. Nabil Hassein is with Millions March NYC. And Darius Charney is with the Center for Constitutional Rights.

This is Democracy Now!, When we come back, how does private equity affect your life? Stay with us. You may be surprised.

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