Leaders discuss rising tension between police and community following death of Eric Garner

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Mayor Bill de Blasio, and

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton met with religious leaders across the city for two hours at the Palace Hotel. (Credit: News 12)

BRONX - Political and religious leaders gathered Wednesday to discuss how to strengthen ties between the police and community, following the death of Eric Garner in police custody.

Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton met with religious leaders across the city for two hours at the Palace Hotel.

Garner died on July 17 after an officer allegedly put him in an apparent chokehold, leading some people to believe police used excessive force during his arrest.

The mayor says the situation in Ferguson, Missouri was discussed at the meeting, but the focus was on police community relations in New York City.

"This isn't about a single incident or being mired in the past,” said Mayor de Blasio. “This is about a very purposeful and consistent effort forward."

Rev. Al Sharpton is organizng a rally on Saturday to call for justice in Eric Garner's case.  He was asked if  there is any concern of that protest getting out of hand and violent.

"I have no fear of that at all...and if it ever were to occur, we would stop it and would not tolerate it," said Sharpton.

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