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.