Eric Garner died in police custody in part because for several decades the NYPD has doggedly enforced smaller, seemingly innocuous "quality-of-life" crimes. According to Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bratton, the NYPD will continue to strictly enforce laws against loosie peddlers and subway dancers. "I can understand why any New Yorker may say, that's not such a big offense," de Blasio said. "But a violation of the law is a violation of the law."

Commissioner Bratton added, "We need the public’s help also to appreciate that when an officer does approach you to correct your behavior, that you respond. That’s what democracy is all about."

The pair were speaking at a press conference to discuss the reforms they're putting in place after Garner's death, including a planned retraining of the entire NYPD, the CCRB study into chokeholds ("Over the last two decades [the CCRB] has not played a particularly important role in this city, certainly not the role it was supposed to play," the mayor admitted), and continued conversations with community leaders.

Times reporter David Goodman asked what Bratton meant when he remarked shortly after his swearing-in that falling crime rates implied that "the intrusion of police into citizens' lives should also diminish." Did this apply to open container laws and having two feet on the subway seat?

"I'm still trying to find the balance," Bratton said. "I'm dealing with the Elmo craze in Times Square, or dealing with house parties…you have 300 or 400 people showing up at 3 or 4 in the morning. We had three of those parties this past weekend that had extensive violence. At two of them people just started shooting. In the third instance, an AK-47 was found on the lawn when we responded."

Bratton added, "Would you not want us to deal with that quality of life crime?"

Left unsaid was the fact that the high number of minor marijuana arrests under Mayor Bloomberg's tenure have not budged since de Blasio took office. Bratton also responded to a bizarre question about "onlooker interference" in videos depicting police use of force (videos that were the subject of a recent federal lawsuit against the NYPD for violating citizens' rights, though the reporter didn't mention this).

"There is no denying that in some of the videos that what you see is interference on the part of onlookers, maybe relatives, maybe friends, who should not be interfering," Bratton said. "That interference certainly exacerbates the situation."

Editor's Note: Due to a hasty transcription, we initially reported that Bratton said the following: "It's important that when an officer does approach you to correct your behavior, that you respect them. That's what democracy's all about."

A review of the video shows we were wrong. The correct quote appears above. We sincerely regret the error.