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Summit at City Hall on police-community relations

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Ways to improve the relationship between the NYPD and communities in New York City is at the center of a summit being held at City Hall on Thursday. Ways to improve the relationship between the NYPD and communities in New York City is at the center of a summit being held at City Hall on Thursday.
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Ways to improve the relationship between the NYPD and communities in New York City was at the center of a summit held Thursday at City Hall.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, Rev. Al Sharpton, city officials and community leaders attended the round table discussion that lasted approximately two hours. 

Opening arguments were streamed online at NYC.GOV   The remainder of the discussion was closed to the public and to the press.

Accusations of police brutality and the death of a man under arrest for selling un-taxed cigarettes on Staten Island lead Mayor De Blasio to host the forum.

Bratton said he's re-doing how officers are trained to use force. Sharpton said the officers involved should be criminally charged to send a message. The mayor urged patience and dialogue.

Eric Garner died after police put him in an apparent choke hold. Cops stopped Garner for the minor offense of selling loose cigarettes in Staten Island.

Officers had been enforcing the so-called broken windows policy. Under it, officers try to stop petty crimes in an effort to reduce larger crimes.

But many in this community say Garner's death is just one of many examples of police using an overly aggressive response to a minor infraction.

On Wednesday, members of the NAACP met with police brass to express concerns and talk about what reforms the department could make to improve relations with residents living in high-crime neighborhoods. According to the NAACP, Commissioner Bratton assured these community leaders police officers would be receiving more training.

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