Tag Archives: Michael Bloomberg

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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Occupy Wall Street evicted? They Ain’t Done Yet!

So NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly pulled off an early morning police raid on Occupy Wall Street.

Police raid Occupy Wall Street - Courtesy S. Principato

Congratulations, and for shame!

The trumped up rationale for driving largely non violent protestors out of  Liberty Square (Zucotti Park) was shameless and transparent. It was also expected.

Also expected was the police excess normally reserved for communities other than Lower Manhattan. The arrest and detention of City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez should cost someone at 1 Police Plaza their job.

Sadly, the Mayor can’t be touched politically. He’s in the midst of an ill advised third term. Yet make no mistake. Mayor Bloomberg deserves to criticized for the raid on Occupy Wall St. the same way he was criticized for his handling of the blizzard.

For a sitting Deputy Mayor (Cas Holloway) to argue before a judge that OWS was stockpiling weapons sounds as hollow as GW Bush’s “weapons of mass destruction” argument for invading Iraq.

Cas Holloway

 

When the history of this time is written, it will be the police, not protestors, who will be remembered for their callous disregard for their fellow human beings. They didn’t even have sense enough not to go around arresting journalists!

The stealth raid, complete with keeping journalists at bay, ought to make people concerned with basic liberties hang their heads. However, out of adversity comes opportunity. Occupy Wall St. isn’t going away any more than other Occupy movements around the nation and world.

People like Bloomberg and Kelly will find out you can’t arrest, raid, beat down, or otherwise trample on an idea. The issues brought up by this movement won’t go away. The powers that be will find this out sooner than most people think.

What do you think about the Occupy Movement?

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Should Bad Cops, Firemen Keep Their Pensions? They Can Now!

In late September, NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that essentially allows New York City cops and firemen to hold onto their pensions even when convicted of a crime.

Public protest against criminal cops keeping pension.

Understand that the bill started as a home rule message from the City Council.

It passed 49-0, without a word of dissent at a public hearing.

It then went to the state legislature, where it passed by votes of 128-14 in the Assembly, and 61-1 in the Senate. What it means is cops and firemen will have to be convicted of a felony before their pensions are at risk. In fairness, corrupt politicians, even those convicted of felonies are still getting paid. The Governor did try to close that loophole with the introduction of a bill after the conviction of former state comprtoller Alan Hevesi.

Also to be fair, cops and firemen in other jurisdictions in the state already get to keep theirs unless convicted of a felony. However, with the spate of corruption investigations, indictments, and convictions of NYPD officers lately, you have to wonder whether everyone in the food chain thought this through. For example, former cop Kenneth Moreno was sentenced to a year in prison for official misconduct in connect with the infamous “cop rape” trial.

That happened in August.

If the bill Gov. Cumomo signed had been in effect then, Moreno, assuming he’d served for 20 years, would have kept his pension. That’s because official misconduct is a misdemeanor. With government workers’ pensios coming under increased scrutiny, does this pass the smell test?

Brutal cops thrown off the force, or even charged, tried and convicted for acts of brutality will keep their pensions. Now any cop facing even felony charges will be advised to retire from the NYPD between the time of arrest and verdict.

The ticket fix cops, and many others recently charged with crimes, will walk away with a pension if not convicted of a felony. This whole thing seems to have flown under the radar, save a couple of articles in the tabloid press and an op-ed from Arnold Kriss in the Daily News. He’s a former NYPD Deputy Commissioner, and sees the long term impact of taking away a police commissioner’s discretion in punishing rogue or criminal behavior.

Mayor Mike Bloomberg was on the right side of this issue.

He urged the Governor not to sign the bill. He lost on this one. By the way, at about the same time Gov. Cuomo signed this bill into law, he evtoed a measure that would have extended health benefits tomworkers laid off after OTB closed its doors.

So let me see if I’ve got this straight. Crooked cops?  Pensions. Laid off OTB workers? No health benefits.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Listen to me Monday through Friday from 6 AM – 9 AM EST on WWRL AM 1600.

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