This Isn’t Helping

Quite in contrast to Mayor Warren’s measured and thoughtful statement, some others among the New York City Police Department seem eager to aggravate things.

Let’s just note a few things from the article.

First, the Vice President of the United States was there.  That’s preposterous.  Or at least, it should seem preposterous even though it probably doesn’t to most people because we’re so used to political posturing.  But fundamentally, the VPOTUS is not in the NYC police chain of command and has no place in any of this.

Really, the highest official standing over the NYC Police Department is the the Mayor of New York City.  And he’s the one the police turned their backs on.  At a funeral.  Not a good time to express one’s political opinions, I should think, but the police have had so much political clout for so long they’ve become tone deaf.

In any case, did the Vice President attend Eric Garner’s funeral?  Michael Brown’s?  Of course not.  When protesters chant that “black lives matter” they are pointing out the disparity in treatment of these recent casualties in the street wars.  Whereupon the politicians immediately serve up some more disparity.

Note also:  police officers from around the country, and Canada, were in attendance.  Is this a show of support, or a show of force, and influence, and clout?

At some point there are diminishing returns.  I don’t think anyone needs to be reminded that the police outgun the rest of us.  This seems more a part of the problem than the solution.  In context, it doesn’t matter that much:  the well armed SWAT team members are not tempting targets; two regular beat cops sitting in their car not expecting an ambush are.  The price of the escalating rhetoric and the demonstration – once again – that the “law enforcement community” will have its way is paid by the more vulnerable of the group.  I guess that’s how it usually is.

There are personalities that are apparently oblivious to how this all works.  These personalities are common among police but not at all confined to them.  Nevertheless, we have noted before certain prominent law enforcement examples of – well, what shall we call it?  The will to power, I guess – such as here and here.

Probably part of the reason they are oblivious is that, as we noted in those previous posts, there’s something “hidden” about the costs, and I put the word in quotation marks because I don’t really think these things are obscure to normal grownups, just to nominal grownups who have never really grown up, and who continue to believe that life is really about getting what you want, having your way, bending the world – and others – to your will.

Banishing this mindset from polite society is a lot closer to what is needed than petulant back-turning maneuvers.

Again, Lovely Warren has it right.

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4 Comments

Filed under Media incompetence/bias

4 responses to “This Isn’t Helping

  1. Concur;

    The turning the backs, multiple times – and AT the funeral too – clearly notes that the haughty ‘Blue Wall’ needs a wreck-on-ing!

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  2. Did you know that one good NY (Buffalo) African American (“AA”) officer (Cariol Horne) was beaten, fired and denied her pension for stopping a pale male officer from choking a man who was handcuffed?

    Reward the Wilson’s with a million dollar in TShirt sales;
    and fire any decent cop who would do the right thing.

    American Way?

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  3. Joe Biden has been pandering to the police for at least two decades. He was one of the major congressional fixers for Bill Clinton’s block grant disbursements to federally fund the hiring of 100,000 new beat cops. It’s easy to imagine some bad unintended consequences of thoughtlessly flooding the zone with inadequately vetted, trained, and supervised cops. There’s the potential for some real Lord of the Flies scenarios.

    This danger is exacerbated by the number of veterans returning from combat and cryptocombat deployments in the Middle East, some of whom are too psychologically damaged by war to function properly in a police setting. Many police recruiters are too eager to hire veterans, to “thank them for their service,” as it were (often under pressure from chickenhawk elements in or around the civilian command structure), to exercise proper discretion in the evaluation of veterans’ applications for sworn employment. As a matter of vetting, recruiters absolutely have to keep an eye out for evidence of PTSD, sadism, and psychopathy on the part of veterans in their applicant pool, but the police recruiting process has become far too politicized by (largely civilian) elements eager to aggrandize soldiers.

    There was a very important point made recently by one of the Popehat contributors in reference to the mass insubordination to Mayor de Blasio: Modern American police have seized the power tactics of the military but evaded accountability to the standards of honorable service that are demanded of military personnel. A real soldier, airman, sailor, or, God forbid, commissioned officer who turned his back on the commander-in-chief would be subject to court-martial. The constitutional details may be a bit less stringent in New York City, but Bill de Blasio is, functionally at least, the NYPD’s commander-in-chief. He is the elected civilian executive presiding over the agency. If NYPD officers do not respect or trust his leadership, they are free to resign from the department in the same fashion that a military officer may honorably resign in protest of a sitting President. In fact, NYPD officers have much MORE latitude to resign than military personnel because they do not have service commitments. Cops quit the NYPD for better paying jobs with other agencies all the time.

    Another really troubling thing that has happened to American police culture is that noisy maudlin elements have turned line-of-duty officer deaths into a sort of cult martyrdom. The likelihood of line-of-duty death for police officers has fallen to multigenerational lows in most agencies, but the memorialization of these deaths has reached what may be an unprecedented fever pitch. Statistically, policing is not an exceptionally dangerous job, but Officer Down memorial highways and Vietnam War Memorial-style fallen officer tribute plaques are proliferating. This siege mentality and sense of chronic bereavement is really unhealthy.

    This is probably how that group of NYPD cops found the nerve to turn their backs on the mayor when he came to pay his respects to one of their murdered colleagues. They were openly insubordinate, and also utterly profane to do such a thing at a funeral. But none of that matters to them because they’re trying to stage a soft paramilitary coup, and all is fair in love and war.

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  4. Min

    “There are personalities that are apparently oblivious to how this all works.”

    Back in the 1940s (I think, maybe the 1950s) there was a test for such personalities. IIRC, the test gave an F score, the F standing for fascist. Nowadays the test has been refined, and we talk about authoritarian personalities. Such personalities are not inherently inclined to violence, but can be swayed in that direction by authority figures.

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