Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Saturday, December 27th, 2014.


Show Me the Rhetoric

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criminal justice

A plane was spotted flying over NYC with a trailing message banner saying “De Blasio, Our Backs Have Turned to You.” Hundreds of NYPD officers turned their backs on Mayor de Blasio when he attended the funeral of Officer Rafael Ramos earlier today.

Day before yesterday I encountered a fellow going on and on about how Mayor de Blasio had incited the murders, and I asked him to show me the actual words de Blasio had used to incite murder.  And of course he couldn’t; all I got back was a lot of attitude and bluster.

Per Gawker, according to a statement issued anonymously through the owner of the plane —

“It is our opinion that Mayor de Blasio’s dangerous and irresponsible comments about his and his wife’s concern for their son’s safety at the hands of the NYPD fueled the flames that led to civil unrest, and potentially to the deaths of PO Wenjian Liu and PO Rafael Ramos, as well as the continued threats against NYPD personnel. The Mayor shows us no respect, and encourages the public to follow his lead.”

I believe this is the statement by Mayor de Blasio that the officers found objectionable:

This is profoundly personal for me. I was at the White House the other day, and the president of the United States turned to me, and he met Dante a few months ago, and he said that Dante reminded him of what he looked like as a teenager. And he said, I know you see this crisis through a very personal lens. I said to him I did. Because Chirlane and I have had to talk to Dante for years, about the dangers he may face. A good young man, a law-abiding young man, who would never think to do anything wrong, and yet, because of a history that still hangs over us, the dangers he may face—we’ve had to literally train him, as families have all over this city for decades, in how to take special care in any encounter he has with the police officers who are there to protect him.

That’s it? That’s the “inflammatory speech” that went over the line? News flash — even black cops in the NYPD fear the white cops in the NYPD. As BooMan says, “You have to be submental not to understand that a police force that has made it its business to stop and frisk black people just because they are black is going to alarm the parents of a young black man. And that doesn’t even get into the history of using violence against black men and asking questions later.”

The police union started badmouthing Mayor de Blasio back when the city stopped supporting “stop and frisk,” which a  federal judge had ruled unconstitutional and arguably wasn’t reducing crime anyway. Stopping “stop and frisk” was one of the issues de Blasio ran on when he campaigned to be elected mayor, so arguably the people of New York supported stopping it (whether there is polling on this I do not know).

A few days ago Charles Pierce wrote about insubordination in the NYPD and CIA.

For the past two weeks, on two different fronts, we have been confronted with the unpleasant fact that there are people working in the institutions of our self-government who believe themselves not only beyond the control and sanctions of the civil power, but also beyond the control and sanctions of their direct superiors. We also have been confronted with the fact that there are too many people in our political elite who are encouraging this behavior for their own purposes, most of which are cheap and dangerous. In Washington, John Brennan, the head of the CIA, came right up to the edge of insubordination against the president who hired him in the wake of the Senate report on American torture. Meanwhile, in New York, in the aftermath of weeks of protests against the strangulation of Eric Garner by members of the New York Police Department, two patrolmen, Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, were murdered in their squad car by a career criminal and apparent maniac named Ismaaiyl Brinsley. In response, and at the encouragement of television hucksters like Joe Scarborough, police union blowhards like Patrick Lynch, political zombies like George Pataki, and comical fascists like Rudolph Giuliani, the NYPD is acting in open rebellion against Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York, and the civil power he represents over them. This is an incredibly perilous time for democracy at the most basic levels.

The NYPD need to remember who they work for, and it’s not the police union.

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