NYPD Racism, Courtesy of Facebook

 

If there’s one story that’s made the blood of New Yorkers boil this week, it’s the one about the NYPD and the West Indian American Day parade.

 

Let’s be clear. New York has parades all through the year (except the dead of winter) in all five boros of this great city.

Yet the racist, vile, offensive language some cops allegedly used in connection with the annual march down Brooklyn’s Eastern Parkway is unique.

A Facebook group that includes stuff like “savages” and “animals” in reference to revellers? Yes, people have the right to their opinion.

That opinion, however, takes on an added significance when the person carries a gun and is charged with protecting the safety of the people they disparage. This group grew to include 1200 users, not all of whom may have been police officers. Yet a forum that could easily have been used to vent about having to work on Labor Day turned into something much uglier.

It ought to be pointed out that the attitudes expressed about the West Indian Day parade seem to be similar to those held by some (not all) cops about Occupy Wall Street.

If that’s true, and, as a listener pointed out, it stems from an imperial arrogance and superiority complex on the part of some cops, it’s dangerous. The recent spate of police excess, from cuffing a city councilman at this year’s parade, to alleged ticket fixiing, gun running, arresting journalists trying to cover a story, and drug planting on innocent people would seem to indicate a segment of the department out of control. Yet there’s little appetite on the part of Police Commissioner Ray Kelly or Mayor Michael Bloomberg to even acknowledtge a problem exists.

The people of New York City deserve better, whether they’re protesting in Lower Manhattan or marching down Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn. The feeble excuse that cops feel themselves in danger policing the carnival parade simply won’t wash.

 

The NYPD, all 34,000 of them, have the right to an opinion about their job.

 

It must be pointed out, however, that people across America have lost jobs and even been subject to arrest over stuff they post on Facebook. The cops who posted to that now defunct Facebook group should find another line of work.


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Welcome to the United State Of Mike…Bloomberg that is

Hello, New Yorkers, and welcome to the United State of Mike.Our mayor, it seems, has decided to create his own private country.

Why would I say such a thing? Because our mayor says he’s got what every tin-horn dictator has: an army. Michael Bloomberg actually boasted during a speech at MIT, quoting here, “I have my own army in the NYPD, which is the seventh largest army in the world”.

The implications of such a statement are many. Does Bloomberg not know the difference between an army and a police force? He’s not that stupid.

Mike Bloomberg also doesn’t often make gross misstatements. The conduct of his police force of late might indicate he’s given Commissioner Ray Kelly license to operate the NYPD as an army.

That should scare each and every resident of “the greatest city in the world.”

Armies, generally speaking, are created to conduct military actions, like wars, and quell insurrections.

Police departments are supposed to fight crime. There are places in the world where these functions are co-mingled. Most New Yorkers wouldn’t want to live in them. Yet, if we take two prominent functions of the NYPD, those being the stop and frisk program and the treatment of Occupy Wall St., one could conclude that somebody in city government sees the department as operating in a militaristic fashion. So now we know just who.

Mayor Bloomberg will likely respond to any media questions about his statement with a baleful stare and obvious irritation. He’ll say something like, “You know what I meant. Next question”. Yet the army reference isn’t so easily dismissed, when combined with Commissioner Kelly’s warlike boast to 60 Minutes about being able to shoot a plane out of the sky. It all boils down to this. Unless the mayor is looking to secede from the US, referring to the police as an army is whack. Even as an independent country (maybe not a bad idea), New York City would need an army AND a police force, not one operating as the other.

Or maybe this was just a boastful slip of the tongue, something we cynics shouldn’t take seriously. That would be all well and good, if the NYPD was really about about professional policing.

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