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prisonchaplain

NYPD turn backs on mayor at funerals -- why the anger?

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This article is by a retired NYPD officer, who explains why the average police officer is so angry at NYC's mayor.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/08/opinion/the-nypd-protests-an-officers-view.html?_r=0

 

Was the back-turning right?  Wrong?  Understandable?  Indulgent?  Most important, what is the way forward?

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Perhaps additional funding should be spent - not on police forces, but on civilians. That way we know how to stand our ground without escalating the situation.

 

Some examples in play:

 

New High School Course: How to Deal With Cops

Arizona Activist Undergoes Use of Force Scenarios

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I'm generally delighted to see DeBlazio get a smackdown in any venue.

 

That said:  I can understand the sensitivity-to-the-family argument; but I would ask in turn whether DeBlazio was invited  (by the families) to attend/speak at these officers' funerals, or whether he was gatecrashing the events for political reasons.  In the former scenario, I would find the cops' behavior problematic; in the latter, I'd shrug and say "too late".

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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In the former scenario, I would find the cops' behavior problematic; in the latter, I'd shrug and say "too late".

 

DeBlazio is an idiot.  But, I don't think it is ever appropriate in any venue for the cops to do this.  There are less disrespectful ways to express your displeasure.  And yes, even if they have completely lost respect for the man, they need to maintain respect for his office.  This is the type of stuff that just puts one more blow to the axe poised on that wedge that divides people.

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I'm not ready to justify the back-turning, but DeBlazio's pretending that their action primarily disrespected the families, and only incidentally him, was self-serving and tone deaf.  Sometimes, in order to prevent a war the disgruntled side has to communicate that the possiblity is real.  My uninformed guess is that the officers believe that the mayor is unaware of just how serious their sense of being betrayed is.

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Bill de Blasio, like many liberals, is a practitioner of identity politics.  Attributes of individual citizens are ignored, but whole groups of people are stereotyped and assigned group-level attributes that become binding on the group's members simply because the members belong to that group.  It's not possible for individual policemen to choose to be racist or nonracist; the entire police force is racist, and thus every policeman is automatically racist.  Hence Mr. de Blasio's ludicrous public comment about what he told his son Dante.  If a member of group A does something bad to a member of group B, it's not because of an accident or some private dispute.  It's because everyone in group A shares some common trait that oppresses every member of group B, even if the members of A aren't consciously aware of it.  

 

It's nuts.  In the marketplace of ideas, this idea is like cocaine.  

 

Mr. de Blasio should have publicly supported the police force as a group and told New Yorkers to judge individual policemen for their actions.

 

If the cops at the funerals had shot their pistols in the air as a protest, or removed all their clothing, that would have been disrespectful.  Turning their backs is a peaceful and responsible way to send a signal to this dim-bulb mayor.  I don't know his wattage, but let's hope it's high enough to make him realize that he's got a lot to scrape off his shoes right now.

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Firstly, his comments against the police were flat-out wrong for someone of his office. I don't know if he spoke purely his opinion or sympathy to protesters, but it was unprofessional speech from a leader of the people.

Does that justify turning backs? Probably not the best choice. Respect the office if nothing else.

Do I condemn what they did? I'm afraid I don't. Proper or not, he had it coming.

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Perhaps additional funding should be spent - not on police forces, but on civilians. That way we know how to stand our ground without escalating the situation.

 

Some examples in play:

 

New High School Course: How to Deal With Cops

Arizona Activist Undergoes Use of Force Scenarios

 

I would think the high school course would be much better if cops were actually there to give some of the presentation themselves.

 

The second link is oustanding.  I've noticed cops putting on "citizen police academy" training for interested citizens.  I attended my local small-town cop's academy.  3 hours every Tuesday for 6 weeks.  Fascinating stuff.  I became a firm supporter of tasers after volunteering for a demonstration and taking a 4 second hit. (Hint - when they ask you how much of a hit you want, DON'T say 4 seconds.  Go with 2 :)).

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I would think the high school course would be much better if cops were actually there to give some of the presentation themselves.

 

The second link is oustanding.  I've noticed cops putting on "citizen police academy" training for interested citizens.  I attended my local small-town cop's academy.  3 hours every Tuesday for 6 weeks.  Fascinating stuff.  I became a firm supporter of tasers after volunteering for a demonstration and taking a 4 second hit. (Hint - when they ask you how much of a hit you want, DON'T say 4 seconds.  Go with 2 :)).

 

I agree the course would benefit from law enforcement representation. I think what's getting addressed right now is that Black Lives Matter feels that the system is slanted against them. The HS training is to remind them that the police are only one part of that system, and locally, the legal system has their back (it is hosted by the NYCLU). When some trust is regained LEO can come in and show a few examples from their perspective ("is this person armed? are you sure?" "is there a lethal weapon in this scene? take a look at my hip.").

 

Tasers and partners are what came to my mind in watching the second video. The second scenario could have been non-lethal if a taser was employed, but you would need a partner with a gun in case he was armed.

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I'm certainly sympathetic to African-Americans' distrust of the police, especially having just seen To Kill a Mockingbird.  

 

I think body cameras can be a big part of the solution.  I'm thinking of using one at my next family reunion, actually.

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Body cameras are great. Escalations are reduced because both parties know they're being recorded, so it puts all parties on better behavior (and reduces false positives).

 

Of course, departments that use them need to figure how long will they store recordings (storage isn't free after all), and courts need to find the balance between making this data available to the public (for oversight reasons) while respecting the privacy of those involved (imagine someone requesting a weeks worth of video just so she can post it on youtube).

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