A violent lunatic arrives in a tensed out NYC from Baltimore after allegedly shooting his girlfriend. After instagraming ugly stuff about giving “pigs wings “ and “taking two for every one” he shoots dead two random officers of the NYPD in cold blood while they sat in their patrol car in Brooklyn, purportedly as revenge for the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown at the hands of police. He then turns the same gun on himself.
Representatives of the NYPD and former governor George Pataki, among others, immediately use the grotesque act to politic, going as far as blaming Mayor Bill de Blasio for the murders.
Consider these chilling words from the Police Benevolent Association: “The mayor’s hands are literally dripping with our blood because of his words, actions and policies and we have, for the first time in a number of years, become a ‘wartime’ police department. We will act accordingly.”
Or this reckless idiocy tweeted by Former New York Governor George E. Pataki who somehow blamed de Blasio and United States Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. for the shootings of the officers.
“Sickened by these barbaric acts,” Mr. Pataki wrote on Twitter, “which sadly are a predictable outcome of divisive anti-cop rhetoric of #ericholder & #mayordiblasio.”
Mayor de Blasio, to be sure, has made his fair share of mistakes dealing with the legacy of police violence and racism in NYC, the largest being teaming up with the despicable charlatan “Rev.”Al Sharpton. Many, it seems, will never forgive him for that.
I understand their thinking but I also know that despite Sharpton, de Blasio has brought a civility and respect for citizens and protest that I haven’t seen in this city since before the twenty-year reign of Giuliani and Bloomberg. I saw it at the spontaneous gathering at Foley Square on the night of the non-indictment of Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of Eric Garner. I saw it that much the more at Saturday’s massive march from Washington Square demanding justice for Garner and an end to police brutality and racism. No barriers fencing you in like a beast. No armies of cops staring you down. No giant nets ready to arrest anyone and everyone who happened to be there exercising their right to protest. No cops on horses whose sole purpose was to intimidate you into silence.
None of the things, that is, that had become standard operating procedure for every protest of the past two decades, decades in which the Constitution and Bill of Rights has been trashed repeatedly in pursuit of terrorists and Empire.
This is no small thing.
I can only think that such changes were due directly to the orders of Mayor de Blasio for which, on this in any case, he need be credited and supported. I can only think further that he will need that support that much the more now as people are already shamelessly using the horrific murders of these two blameless cops not merely to destroy de Blasio but to make the aforementioned standard operating procedures a permanent feature of American life.