Many are applauding FBI Director James Comey for his candid thoughts Thursday on bias and police relations with minority communities. It was a message that resonated with New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, who said Comey spoke of "inconvenient truths" that police chiefs have been speaking about for a number of years.
According to Bratton, there is certainly urgency in addressing the issue as racism is something the country has wrestled with since coming out of the slavery era. However, with the police-shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson and the chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York City, tensions between police and minorities have escalated.
"The urgency now is that we seem to have reached a tipping point once again as we did back in the '60s, as we did in the early '90s, where we need to face up to this," Bratton said Friday on "CBS This Morning." "With leadership like the director's and American police chiefs' - certainly they are moving in that direction - this could be a very interesting and very positive time for us."
Bratton said the police chiefs are now able to ally themselves with the FBI director, who is "well-respected by law enforcement" and minorities, and take the conversation to a broader community.
"One of the things [Comey] said was, it's not just about police bias, police cynicism, police racism -- it's about societal bias, racism," Bratton said. "We all have it, whether we're white or black, and these are important truths to speak to."
In his speech, Comey said "racial bias isn't epidemic in law enforcement any more than it is epidemic in academia or the arts."
Ultimately, Comey challenged listeners to "confront the biases that are inescapable parts of the human condition" and "start seeing one another for who and what we really are." Bratton, who Comey quoted at one point in his speech, agreed.
"The point is that we really need to work very hard to understand the police officer point of view and perspective. We need to understand the perspective of that young man of color who feels that he's not being treated fairly," Bratton said. "We need to see each other, we need to hear each other. We need to engage in dialogue rather than rhetoric."
As for crime in New York City, "CBS This Morning" co-host Charlie Rose pointed out that the city hasn't seen a murder in a record number of days.
"Shhhh! Don't want to jinx it," Bratton said. "We're into our 12th day ... and 11 is the record, and let's keep it going."