Support Your Local Police … Or Else

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chief of Police William Bratton should do the one thing they would never dare do to fix the attitude of their police force. They should fire a thousand cops.

 

In the midst of their hissy fit over the mayor’s lack of adoration for the men and women in blue, the cops are refusing to enforce the law. Arrests in New York City are down 66 percent and citations for petty offenses and traffic violations are down 90 percent from the same week a year ago.

 

In short, the reaction of the New York cops to being told they sometimes do a bad job, is to do the job worse.

 

De Blasio’s sin is failing to fully back the police who killed Eric Garner, an unarmed black man selling cigarettes on a street corner. He had the effrontery to suggest that the people peacefully demonstrating against killing an unarmed man committing a minor crime might have a point. He even said he had to train his own mixed-race son how to deal with police officers so he wouldn’t get killed. He knows his city and his cops.

 

Even before the assassination of two officers in their car, the police circulated a self-righteous petition saying de Blasio has not given cops the “respect they deserve,” and disinviting the mayor from future police funerals. It says in part that the mayor’s “attendance at the funeral of a fallen New York City police officer is an insult to that officer’s memory and sacrifice.”

The mayor got off wrong with the cops by campaigning for office against the unconstitutional “stop and frisk” policy that had the police bracing an inordinate number of young, black, poor, and Latino men randomly on the street. Then came the Eric Garner mess.

 

Now some police officers actually blame de Blasio for creating an anti-police atmosphere in which two officers were randomly assassinated. At least twice now New York police officers in uniform have engaged in a political demonstration by turning their backs on the mayor; once in person and a second time in front of a giant outdoor screen showing the funeral of a fellow officer. Chief William Bratton, revered as the cop who has turned around policing in America, weakly said it was “inappropriate.” Since when is it merely “inappropriate” to conduct politics in uniform?

 

The people who carry guns and wear uniforms in the name of public service have to respect and obey civilians and civilian authority or else they are an occupying army. And that’s what everyone demonstrating in the streets of America is complaining about. Too often the cops act like an occupying army.

 

Cops demand reverence and special treatment because they claim they “lay their lives on the line” every day protecting the public. They do not. Most police work, like any other job, is routine and boring. No doubt police officers encounter terrible and dangerous situations that most of us never do, but they aren’t laying their lives on the line every day.

 

And in some places in America, the cops are the biggest danger innocent civilians face.

 

Several dozen police officers are killed on the job every year. It’s true and it’s terrible. But the most deadly profession in America is being a lumberjack. More fishermen, aircraft pilots, and roofers die on the job every year than cops. Police work is not even among the top ten most dangerous professions.

 

As a journalist I’ve seen cops on the job for 35 years. I’ve seen them do great and brave things. I’ve also seen them being mean, arrogant, and stupid. I’ve seen cops in Boston beat up demonstrators. I saw the Los Angeles police abandon their city in a riot to prove how necessary they are. I’ve seen cops bully black kids and beat up reporters. More than once I’ve had a cop say to me, “I don’t care what the law says.”

 

Police officers do not “deserve” respect. Like anyone else in this world, they have to earn it. What a lot of cops don’t understand is that they owe respect … to the citizens they are sworn to protect, and to the civilian leaders they work for.

 

I’d like to see Bill de Blasio and Chief Bratton walk down a row of New York cops refusing to do their job and poke them in the chest saying, “You .. turn in your badge, You, you’re a disgrace. Get out.” Then the cops would have every right to turn their backs on the mayor. And get the hell out of the station house.

-30-

 

 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Page Two

Jaw Meet Floor

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Small President

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Cuba Diaries

Sunday, March 13, 2016

An Alphabet of Maladies

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Healthcare Confusion Act

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Freedom from Speech

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Too Big to Fire

Friday, June 19, 2015

More Probable Than Not

Thursday, May 14, 2015

It's Been Said

“Regarding the question as to climate change, I think the president was fairly straightforward. We’re not spending money on that anymore. We consider that to be a waste of your money.”
 
-White House budget director Mick Mulvany

There are 1 Comments

  1. TIMOTHY SHEEHY

    Hello Brian. Great column! I admire you for saying it like it is, and refusing to toe the politically-correct line of “All cops are heroes and deserve our undying adulation and respect.” They aren’t and they don’t. To your point, they need to earn it, just like everyone else. And I would extend what you say to a lot of uniformed non-military personnel in our country. Customs officers, TSA employees, state and federal officials…the lot of them. Some of them are wonderful people who take their jobs and their duty to treat the public, and their uniform, with respect and dignity. Many others think that a badge and a hat gives them carte blanche to throw their weight around and spend their taxpayer-funded careers punishing the rest of us for the 5th grade bully who made their lives miserable…or whatever other deficiency or slight that requires settling a score. I’ve run into these types who, if you took away their badges and their guns, would just be pathetic, insecure, angry losers with no place in a civilized society. But because they have the social legitimacy conferred by their uniforms, they are allowed to punch far above what they would otherwise be capable of. Thank you for your candor. BTW, please respond to me with your email address so I can connect with on LinkedIn. Or please connect with me if you prefer. ( I am a former national TV correspondent from Canada, so resonate with much of what you post. Keep up the great work!)

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