Execution
December 21, 2014 9:03 AM   Subscribe

For the first time since 2011, two NYPD officers have been killed in the line of duty; PO Wenjian Liu and PO Rafael Ramos were shot, execution style, while sitting in their patrol car yesterday afternoon in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. The suspect, who shot himself at a subway station nearby, had allegedly shot his girlfriend in Maryland yesterday morning, before posting on social media that he was going to kill cops in retaliation for the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. Pat Lynch, the president of the largest police union in New York City — the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, has blamed Mayor de Blasio for the murders, and the New York City police officers, already angry with the mayor for his comments about police violence, last night turned their backs on the mayor as he entered the police press conference to address the shooting deaths of two officers in Brooklyn.
posted by roomthreeseventeen (467 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
 
This is a terrible tragedy.
posted by anotherpanacea at 9:09 AM on December 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


Just exactly what is the rationale for blaming the deaths on the mayor? I realize this is a totally opportunist and unprincipled stance by the police union, but is there any truth to this at all? There would appear to be none.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 9:10 AM on December 21, 2014 [48 favorites]


The blood is on everyone's hands. How about everyone just stop fucking killing everyone else?
posted by Talez at 9:10 AM on December 21, 2014 [24 favorites]


There is this bizarre idea in the heads of cops that if you're not 100% behind them, no matter what they do or who they do it to, you're against society and want anarchy, chaos, looting, and murder. Cop culture is sick in the extreme. Police in this country need to be reigned in, but I don't know how you do that other than mass firing (like a high percentage of all cops in every precinct in the nation) and instituting something like Soviet political officers to monitor and control departmental culture, neither of which are feasible.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:11 AM on December 21, 2014 [208 favorites]


...political officers to monitor and control departmental culture...

Quis custodiet...
posted by Behemoth at 9:13 AM on December 21, 2014 [10 favorites]


Just exactly what is the rationale for blaming the deaths on the mayor?

Because the mayor didn't immediately order the police to crack heads and shut-down the protests following the grand jury decision on the Eric Garner killing?
posted by Thorzdad at 9:14 AM on December 21, 2014 [8 favorites]


Quis custodiet...

Exactly.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:14 AM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


. .
posted by Nelson at 9:15 AM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Economist last week had an interesting take on America's unique culture of violence.
One reason why so many American police shoot first is that so many American civilians are armed. This year 46 policemen were shot dead; last year 52,000 were assaulted. When a policeman is called out to interrupt a robbery, he knows that one mistake could mean he never makes it to retirement. As this newspaper has often pointed out, guns largely explain why America’s murder rate is several times that of other rich countries.
The article is mostly critical of US policing and violence and talks about lack of accountability, racism, etc. But the fact that America is just more violent because of the 300 million guns on the streets is something I'd never really put together.
posted by Nelson at 9:16 AM on December 21, 2014 [65 favorites]


This was an obvious outcome. When you remove nearly all political and nearly all judicial avenues for redress, someone somewhere will respond.

Doesn't make it right. Doesn't make it "justified." It just makes it very, very predictable.
posted by andreaazure at 9:17 AM on December 21, 2014 [80 favorites]


Yeah, I am lost on how you blame peaceful protesters for the actions of a known and wanted criminal.

So, think the gun people will be defending this guy's right to bear arms? Is it too soon to have that emotional discussion? How does a guy like this get a gun?

My opinion, human life is losing value, and we're to blame.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:18 AM on December 21, 2014 [6 favorites]


This was an obvious outcome. When you remove nearly all political and nearly all judicial avenues for redress, someone somewhere will respond.

Honestly, I've been wondering about this, too. It does seem that, if police in the US aren't somehow reigned-in soon, someone, somewhere, will reach the breaking-point where acts like this seem to be the only "voice" they have left.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:23 AM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


But the fact that America is just more violent because of the 300 million guns on the streets is something I'd never really put together.

Except it's not. Nearly every violent crime statistic out there has plummeted. America has never been safer for the person on the street. Your kid is safer than never before, but can't play outside or walk to school without the DHS being called.

The increase is more attributable to the militarization of the police and the drug war. If you have a SWAT team and a MRAP you need to use them to justify having them, even if it means rolling a tank into grandma's charity poker game.

We keep about every statistic you can imagine when it comes to crime, but we don't keep track of how many people cops kill every year.

This year 46 policemen were shot dead […]

So roughly the same number, over the same period, as died in school shootings?
posted by cjorgensen at 9:24 AM on December 21, 2014 [122 favorites]


| ...reach the breaking-point where acts like this seem to be the only "voice" they have left.

There are plenty of people at that point right now, actually. They're just not willing to give up their lives to participate.

The real question is when things will become bad enough that significant portions of the population no longer have anything to live for and we start seeing organized anti-government violence. We're rich enough that it'll be a while before participating in politics becomes necessary.
posted by I-Write-Essays at 9:27 AM on December 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


Cop culture is sick in the extreme. Police in this country need to be reigned in, but I don't know how you

I just read about this SF deputy assaulting a patient in the hospital. Officer lied on the arrest report too. Thank goodness for surveillance cameras.

Do they do mental illness checks on police officers regularly?
posted by discopolo at 9:28 AM on December 21, 2014 [9 favorites]


This was an obvious outcome. When you remove nearly all political and nearly all judicial avenues for redress, someone somewhere will respond.

Just out of curiosity, what statement was he making by shooting his ex-girlfriend?

I get your logic, and I use that as a defense for shutting down the interstates or beating the crap out of cops beating the crap out of protesters, but to imply this guy would have been a constructive contributing member of society if only he'd had his day in court is a bit much.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:29 AM on December 21, 2014 [50 favorites]


cjorgensen, you're correct that violent crime is going down in the US (the NYT link the FPP even points out that NYC's murder count is historically low) but I think the comparison Nelson was making was to other countries, not America 10 or 20 years ago.

Meanwhile, Rudy 911 finds a way to make this Obama's fault.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:31 AM on December 21, 2014 [7 favorites]


Seriously, there is not a lot worth saying here other than: this is a terrible tragedy.

Trying to make it "about" anything is the mistake. It's the PBA's mistake and now it's the mistake here. It's not about anything but one man's mental illness.
posted by anotherpanacea at 9:31 AM on December 21, 2014 [29 favorites]




Yeah, I fail to see how the rantings of a mentally ill man who started his morning off by shooting his girlfriend is seriously avenging the deaths of Michael Brown or Eric Garners. The police officers turning their backs on the mayor are pretending to be victims.
posted by discopolo at 9:33 AM on December 21, 2014 [55 favorites]


The murder of the two police officers was a monstrous act, and the decision of the police union to immediately use their deaths in order to forward their agenda is disgusting. It's hideously opportunistic, as though the greatest value in the death of a cop is its value as a bully tool and propaganda. Have more respect for your fallen comrades.
posted by maxsparber at 9:34 AM on December 21, 2014 [145 favorites]


Police Unions continue to be the fucking worst.
posted by Artw at 9:34 AM on December 21, 2014 [27 favorites]


The PBA also blamed the protesters for these murders. Maybe they should blame the murderer and the accomplices who armed him?
posted by Mister_A at 9:35 AM on December 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


cjorgensen, you're correct that violent crime is going down in the US (the NYT link the FPP even points out that NYC's murder count is historically low) but I think the comparison Nelson was making was to other countries, not America 10 or 20 years ago.

Yes. From the Economist article: Americans simply do not realise how capricious and violent their law-enforcement system is compared with those of other rich countries. It could be changed in ways that would make America safer, and fairer to both blacks and whites. [italics mine]

America is much safer than it was 20 years ago, but still much more dangerous than other wealthy nations. Guns are, without a doubt, a very big part of that.
posted by breakin' the law at 9:35 AM on December 21, 2014 [25 favorites]


This year 46 policemen were shot dead; last year 52,000 were assaulted.

I'd hazard that assaulting a police office is probably one of the most often fabricated charges that police bring against innocent people.
posted by srboisvert at 9:35 AM on December 21, 2014 [169 favorites]


The proper response is to announce a grand jury will look into it.
posted by benzenedream at 9:36 AM on December 21, 2014 [18 favorites]


They were warned about this guy on the loose, he was his own PR department. They just couldn't catch him before. This is one reason to question the mass gathering of info, since it can't culminate in capture before execution of misdeeds. Then it seems to me a part of terrorism, in that it raises tension to no effect. The reality is that info is out there for anyone that collects it, to use however it wants to, HOWEVER.

The officers murdered by a mentally ill individual, seem an American snapshot, almost a Norman Rockwell, Asian and Latin, young and well grounded, invested in living. I just wish they had been in a Rockwellian cafe, with steaming coffee, sprinkled donuts on dishes and smiling with the cook.

This random act is what all officers and their beloveds, fear when they go to work each day. This is the omnipresent stress that does not excuse or forgive profiling, excessive force, murder, or brutality; but it drives on the limbic brain, initiates the fight or flight mechanism as a constant.

Random isn't so random when the drums beat incessantly from every quarter, with regard to the minutia of living. We have become a world on edge, it serves someone, not us.
May those three dead find they are free from this situation, and bless us, forgive it all, as they pass forward.
posted by Oyéah at 9:37 AM on December 21, 2014 [10 favorites]


Note that 46 dead cops is still less than half the people they themselves murdered.
posted by MartinWisse at 9:37 AM on December 21, 2014 [21 favorites]


Friends of mine have sat in courthouses at "assaulting an office" trails for protestors. The charges are almost always frighteningly overblown and or imaginary.
posted by The Whelk at 9:37 AM on December 21, 2014 [24 favorites]


The police officers turning their backs on the mayor are pretending to be victims.

And should be, to a man, fired.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:37 AM on December 21, 2014 [55 favorites]


I'd hazard that assaulting a police office is probably one of the most often fabricated charges that police bring against innocent people.

True in the case of the hospital patient in SF who was accused of such while asleep! by a cop patrolling the waiting room. Luckily it's on tape.
posted by discopolo at 9:38 AM on December 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


What the police is saying is that the police officers were killed because the police department wasn't allowed to crack down on the protesters hard enough. You think about that for a moment and you realize that they will never willingly change their culture of violence.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 9:38 AM on December 21, 2014 [113 favorites]


What t-shirts and stances will NBA and NFL players do today? Anything?
posted by brent at 9:38 AM on December 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


Trying to make it "about" anything is the mistake. It's the PBA's mistake and now it's the mistake here. It's not about anything but one man's mental illness.

Well...yes and no. The killing of Archduke Franz Ferdinand was "about" Yugoslavism and Serbian nationalism, but its historical meaning and importance are derived from context. I think, given everything that has happened in US policing this year, that this event was inevitably going to be about more than one man's madness.
posted by howfar at 9:39 AM on December 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


This is a trajedy. I feel fortunate that crime is down in my area.
posted by clavdivs at 9:41 AM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


>This was an obvious outcome. When you remove nearly all political and nearly all judicial avenues for redress, someone somewhere will respond.

Honestly, I've been wondering about this, too. It does seem that, if police in the US aren't somehow reigned-in soon, someone, somewhere, will reach the breaking-point where acts like this seem to be the only "voice" they have left.


Except the murder of these two officers doesn't seem to be a reasoned, legitimate response to police violence.

Brinsley, the alleged shooter, also allegedly shot his girlfriend. While it seems glib to say violence begets violence, it seems this guy was looking for an excuse to shoot someone.
posted by Nevin at 9:41 AM on December 21, 2014 [12 favorites]


Yeah, I fail to see how the rantings of a mentally ill man who started his morning off by shooting his girlfriend is seriously avenging the deaths of Michael Brown or Eric Garners.

Metafilter has gone over (elsewhere) how the rationality of mentally ill people is not automatically compromised.

If Brinsley was mentally ill, it does necessarily follow his ability to reason was compromised (though this may be a quibbling point. I do think at least some aspects of his ability to reason "sanely" were compromiswed.)

In any case, Brinsley acted in a way that expresses
  1. He was disturbed in his personal relationships
  2. He believed randomly killing two police officers was some sort of redress for the institutional reluctance to indict police for what many believe to be clear abuses deadly force
  3. He was suicidal
None of these necessarily conflict with any of the others, even given Brinsley was mentally ill.
posted by mistersquid at 9:43 AM on December 21, 2014 [21 favorites]


no one's diagnosed this person as mentally ill - and even if he was, it's very curious that this sort of mental illness finds a form of political radicalism to fixate upon
posted by pyramid termite at 9:43 AM on December 21, 2014 [7 favorites]


Nevin: "it seems this guy was looking for an excuse to shoot someone."

And the current really incredibly obvious lack of police accountability presented him with, after his ex-girlfriend, his targets.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 9:45 AM on December 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


think, given everything that has happened in US policing this year, that this event was inevitably going to be about more than one man's madness.

Only if you make it that. The cops want to do so because of course it's a nice excuse not to have to change their behaviour and pretend being a cop is so life threatening an occupation they have no choice but to occassionally shoot black people dead.

But if this was a political killing, he wouldn't have tried to kill his girlfriend first. That moves it into the distressingly familiar category of "bloke can't handle relationship problems/has mental issues, attempts to punish the world and seek suicide" killings.
posted by MartinWisse at 9:45 AM on December 21, 2014 [22 favorites]


The police sensitivity and over-reaction is also related to de Blasio admitting he'd had "The Talk" with his son about watching what you say and do around police:

Among other grievances, the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, the city’s largest police union, has in recent weeks criticized the mayor for invoking his biracial son, Dante, after the Garner decision. At the time, the mayor described his experience instructing Dante to “take special care” during any police encounters. Some union leaders suggested that Mr. de Blasio was conveying that police officers were to be feared.
posted by mediareport at 9:47 AM on December 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


MartinWisse: "That moves it into the distressingly familiar category of "bloke can't handle relationship problems/has mental issues, attempts to punish the world and seek suicide" killings."

Is it so surprising that someone on such a destructive path would attempt to give his death meaning, however twisted? It can be a political killing and an expression of this man's lashing out.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 9:47 AM on December 21, 2014 [7 favorites]


posted by cjorgensen at 12:29 PM
I get your logic, and I use that as a defense...


Did you read my second paragraph? "Doesn't make it right. Doesn't make it "justified." It just makes it very, very predictable." I am not saying it is a defense. KILLING OFFICERS IS NOT AN ACT ONE CAN DEFEND. I am saying that this was an entirely predictable response. And the worse it gets on one side, the worse it is going to get on the other side.
posted by andreaazure at 9:47 AM on December 21, 2014 [6 favorites]


the current really incredibly obvious lack of police accountability

Vigilantism is unjustifiable. You will get your police state.
posted by stbalbach at 9:48 AM on December 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


This is a tragedy for the officers killed and their families. I would like to see that somewhere decent cops speak up against the cops that would turn their backs on the mayor and use this tragedy for their own sick reasons. The police union jerks can't possibly speak for all cops. I've run up against these storm trooper wanna-bes, but I've also had dealings with good, honest police that truly are public guardians. I'd like to think there's a lot more good guys.
posted by readery at 9:49 AM on December 21, 2014 [9 favorites]


More than anything else, this just makes me feel very worried.
posted by likeatoaster at 9:49 AM on December 21, 2014 [14 favorites]


.
.
.

Also, yeah, the events surrounding Brinsley's demise are incredibly tragic, and perhaps unavoidable given his mental outlook.

Especially frustrating (for me) is that Brinsley's stated rationale of redressing social injustice would not even have been possible if the culture of police violence in the US had not been wantonly promoted for the last 30 years in television, cinema, domestic policy, and the infrastructures of US federal, state, and municipal government.
posted by mistersquid at 9:50 AM on December 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


I'd like to think there's a lot more good guys.

I'd like to think so, too, but... they never seem to speak up and make themselves heard, do they? And if they're not willing to speak up and denounce the bad guys among their own ranks, how good are they really?
posted by palomar at 9:50 AM on December 21, 2014 [34 favorites]


Me too.
posted by clavdivs at 9:51 AM on December 21, 2014


I guess if we'd cracked down and secured Jodie Foster then Hinckley would never have shot Reagan. I'm disinclined to take a murderer's self-professed motivations at face value and sure as hell won't use them to reason from, whether there's a formal mental illness diagnosis or not, the narrator isn't reliable.
posted by abulafa at 9:51 AM on December 21, 2014 [15 favorites]


He just didn't want ro die alone, and anonymous in, "the most wonderful time of the year." So he took some people with him and make himself a name, which I will promptly forget, but I won't forget Garner or Brown.
posted by Oyéah at 9:51 AM on December 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


I don't even know what to say. There was at least a public discussion taking place before. People were very upset. Patrick Lynch's speech is so beyond the pale, I can't even process it. It is essentially a call to arms.

I can't even believe that a person like that would stand up and yell about "blood on their hands" and point to everyone else. I would lose my shit. I don't understand how this fits under the paradigm of public service. It is stunning.
posted by phaedon at 9:52 AM on December 21, 2014 [21 favorites]


Vigilantism is unjustifiable. You will get your police state.

Or an all-out civil fucking war as vigilantes respond with larger guerrilla attacks against the militarized police state, assuming that nobody takes responsibility and this shit just keeps escalating.
posted by unknownmosquito at 9:53 AM on December 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


All these shooters have manifestos, for the most part I'm am for ignoring them - they'll tell you their particular concerns of the day, but they won't tell you why they felt murder/suicide by gun was the way to deal with them.
posted by Artw at 9:55 AM on December 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


Patrick Lynch's speech is so beyond the pale, I can't even process it. It is essentially a call to arms.

and a call to bust some heads at the next protest - i'm concerned that this is going to escalate
posted by pyramid termite at 9:57 AM on December 21, 2014 [11 favorites]


The PBA's stance is a pretty troubling one, if only because it prevents any kind of dialog. I'm sympathetic to police officers: they have a hard job that I wouldn't want or be able to do. But that shouldn't give them carte blanche in defining their job. By taking this 'you're either for us or agains us' stance, they're making it very hard to side with them.
posted by HiddenInput at 9:57 AM on December 21, 2014 [29 favorites]


But if this was a political killing, he wouldn't have tried to kill his girlfriend first. That moves it into the distressingly familiar category of "bloke can't handle relationship problems/has mental issues, attempts to punish the world and seek suicide" killings.

I think everyone is already starting to gloss over the fact he shot his girlfriend and just focus on shooting two police officers. I hope they don't continue to do this.
posted by discopolo at 9:58 AM on December 21, 2014 [6 favorites]


Why can't people just up armor their bulldozers and knock down a few buildings without killing anyone anymore?
posted by poe at 9:59 AM on December 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


No mention in this thread that the killer is a gang member of the Black Guerrilla Family who put out a message a few days ago they were going to start killing on-duty police in revenge. That this gang is the most powerful in Baltimore and perhaps the most powerful black prison gang in the country, and it has expanded outside prison. That it's ideology is highly political and seeks to foment revolution and take over the Federal government. That a few days ago the FBI was in Owings Mills Maryland the location of the killers girlfriend in Baltimore County, and shot up and killed a Black Guerrilla Family during a car chase (reasons not yet revealed). There's a war going on and it's the cops who are fighting it.
posted by stbalbach at 9:59 AM on December 21, 2014 [16 favorites]


If Pat Lynch were not talking to cops we'd be calling that incitement to riot.
posted by Artw at 10:00 AM on December 21, 2014 [11 favorites]


But if this was a political killing, he wouldn't have tried to kill his girlfriend first. That moves it into the distressingly familiar category of "bloke can't handle relationship problems/has mental issues, attempts to punish the world and seek suicide" killings.

I post the quotation below on almost every thread about a shooting spree. It already seems to apply here.

"Amok is a Malay word for the homicidal sprees occasionally undertaken by lonely, Indochinese men who have suffered a loss of love, a loss of money, or a loss of face. The syndrome has been described in a culture even more remote from the West: the stone-age foragers of Papua New Guinea.

The amok man is patently out of his mind, an automaton oblivious to his surroundings and unreachable by appeals or threats. But his rampage is preceded by lengthy brooding over failure, and is carefully planned as a means of deliverance from an unbearable situation. The amok state is chillingly cognitive. It is triggered not by a stimulus, not by a tumor, not by a random spurt of brain chemicals, but by an idea. The idea is so standard that the following summary of the amok mind-set, composed in 1968 by a psychiatrist who had interviewed seven hospitalized amoks in Papua New Guinea, is an apt description of the the thoughts of mass murderers continents and decades away:
"I am not an important man... I possess only my personal sense of dignity. My life has been reduced to nothing by an intolerable insult. Therefore, I have nothing to lose except my life, which is nothing, so I trade my life for yours, as your life is favoured. The exchange is in my favour, so I shall not only kill you, but I shall kill many of you, and at the same time rehabilitate myself in the eyes of the group of which I am a member, even though I might be killed in the process."
The amok syndrome is an extreme instance of the puzzle of human emotions. Exotic at first glance, upon scrutiny they turn out to be universal; quintessentially irrational, they are tightly interwoven with abstract thought and have a cold logic of their own.

From How The Mind Works by Steven Pinker"
posted by AceRock at 10:00 AM on December 21, 2014 [79 favorites]


But if this was a political killing, he wouldn't have tried to kill his girlfriend first. That moves it into the distressingly familiar category of "bloke can't handle relationship problems/has mental issues, attempts to punish the world and seek suicide" killings.

I should make clear that I do agree with you. But I also think that the context is unavoidable, particularly given the suspect's apparent statements. I think there are probably ways of understanding this event in a broader context that don't simply amount to excuses for police brutality.
posted by howfar at 10:00 AM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


My hope is that the PBA statement was just a heat of the moment thing along the lines of what Mike Brown's stepfather said as the grand jury results were announced. Brown's stepfather apologized, and I hope the PBA has the decency to walk back their statements and apologize on behalf of the officers who turned their backs.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:00 AM on December 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


>>Nevin: "it seems this guy was looking for an excuse to shoot someone."

And the current really incredibly obvious lack of police accountability presented him with, after his ex-girlfriend, his targets.


That's what I mean by violence be-gets violence. A culture of violence. On the other hand, I think it's important to denounce the murder of the two police officers in the strongest possible terms. The shooter had no legitimacy. It seems insane to have to say this, by the way.

It's also important to acknowledge that the shooter himself is an example of the culture of violence against women in our society.
posted by Nevin at 10:01 AM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


anotherpanacea: It's not about anything but one man's mental illness.

I agree that this is much more about mental illness. Sounds to me like he was going for the classic suicide-by-cop, with the addition of an anti-police narrative framed by the recent social movements.

However, it is about more than that. The fact that suicide-by-cop is even a thing that happens is something that needs to be addressed on a systemic level. In the US, suicidal people know that there are thousands of people in blue uniforms carrying lethal force, who are very willing to kill them if they talk or act in certain ways. That it's easier to find a cop to kill you than a mental health worker to help you is what's atrocious.

And it doesn't surprise me a bit that NYPD is sticking to the "cop-killer" narrative, they stand to receive more funding while the mental health system continues to be defunded and/or privatized.
posted by cosmologinaut at 10:01 AM on December 21, 2014 [7 favorites]




"Even more chilling, the police union declared that the NYPD has “become a ‘wartime’ police department. We will act accordingly.""

So...we're in a civil war now? If not, who is the enemy exactly?
posted by clockzero at 10:02 AM on December 21, 2014 [10 favorites]


disgusting choice of inflammatory hyperbole, this 'execution-style' business.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 10:02 AM on December 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


stbalbach: I've been told they were investigating it, which is not the same as "He's a member", which is the assertion.
posted by curuinor at 10:02 AM on December 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


Statement from the PBA, the NYPD's union (sorry for the Newsmax link; couldn't find the full text anywhere else):
Starting IMMEDIATELY: At least two units are to respond to EVERY call, no matter the condition or severity, no matter what type of job is pending, or what the opinion of the patrol supervisor happens to be.

IN ADDITION: Absolutely NO enforcement action in the form of arrests and or summonses is to be taken unless absolutely necessary and an individual MUST be placed under arrest.

These are precautions that were taken in the 1970's when police officers were ambushed and executed on a regular basis.

The mayor’s hands are literally dripping with our blood because of his words actions and policies and we have, for the first time in a number of years, become a "wartime" police department. We will act accordingly.
Where in the ever-loving fuck does the goddamn union get off dictating policy, to the point that it is actively telling its members to disregard their superiors?

Seriously, if anyone whose fingerprints are on this fucking letter is still walking a beat tomorrow, then the forces of reason have just flat-out lost this fight.
posted by Etrigan at 10:02 AM on December 21, 2014 [128 favorites]


Or an all-out civil fucking war as vigilantes respond with larger guerrilla attacks against the militarized police state

Nah. There will be no revolution, there will be no "civil war". Most people have just enough that they won't want to upset the apple cart and in the end will side with the police and government. Very few people want their cities to fall into a state of anarchy like New Orleans immediately post-Katrina.
posted by MikeMc at 10:04 AM on December 21, 2014 [7 favorites]


it's ideology is highly political

They should make their ideology less political
posted by Greg Nog at 10:06 AM on December 21, 2014 [5 favorites]




The mayor’s hands are literally dripping with our blood because of his words actions and policies and we have, for the first time in a number of years, become a "wartime" police department. We will act accordingly.

No, there is no actual blood on the mayor's manicured hands. There is LITERAL blood on your officer's hands. You know the same officers that have become engrossed in a culture where a cop's life is worth 100X more than anyone else's in the general public.

I'm often astounded by how cowardly most cops are. Its as if being a cop means first protecting yourself, then worrying about anyone else.

Just disband the cops, make them registered republicans instead, and get a new class of citizen that vows to put their life ahead of their need to kill innocents.
posted by hal_c_on at 10:07 AM on December 21, 2014 [15 favorites]


Can anyone point to more info about the rash of police killings in the 70s that's being referenced by the police union in its email demanding "wartime" footing?

I get the fear of copycats, but am not sure a lone murderer who clearly had other issues and is now dead should be justification for the kind of shift being called for. I'm also curious what authority the police union has over the Chief, etc, in determining policy like that.
posted by mediareport at 10:08 AM on December 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


The Mayor has to fire some folks the City Council has to back him up, and it has to be immediate.
posted by Oyéah at 10:09 AM on December 21, 2014 [8 favorites]


So...we're in a civil war now? If not, who is the enemy exactly?

Poor people, black people -- same shit as usual, I'm guessing.

And presumably all of you people who are attributing this to mental illness have never been abused and emasculated by the police -- for no better reason than because they could.

I don't know the story about why he killed his girlfriend, but when I was a younger man, if I'd made the kind of mistake that made me liable to life imprisonment or the death penalty, this would have been the first thing that would have occurred to me. Get some fucking payback. I certainly fantasized about it often enough.

It wouldn't have mattered that the people I was killing hadn't abused me personally -- they were all part of the same gang, they all had each other's backs. They saw us as one amorphous mass, why the hell shouldn't we treat them in exactly the same way?

It might not be the smartest reasoning in the world, but I'm damned if I can see how it's symptomatic of mental illness.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:10 AM on December 21, 2014 [36 favorites]



IN ADDITION: Absolutely NO enforcement action in the form of arrests and or summonses is to be taken unless absolutely necessary and an individual MUST be placed under arrest.


Isn't that basically how it's supposed to be in the first place? Have you been making unnecessary arrests before now?

The mayor’s hands are literally dripping with our blood because of his words actions and policies

Whatever, Lynch. The guy wasn't even a New Yorker, but somehow New York's mayor and (black) people are to blame?
posted by xigxag at 10:10 AM on December 21, 2014 [19 favorites]


This was an obvious outcome. When you remove nearly all political and nearly all judicial avenues for redress, someone somewhere will respond.

[...]

Brinsley, the alleged shooter, also allegedly shot his girlfriend. While it seems glib to say violence begets violence, it seems this guy was looking for an excuse to shoot someone.


both of these statements feel more or less accurate. This problem ain't simple.
posted by philip-random at 10:11 AM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


After the Rachel Noerdlinger affair (where his wife's chief of staff's released murderer and criminal boyfriend whom she lied about and her troubled son both called the police pigs etc. and made racist comments in social media and he defended her as much as possible), I wouldn't want much to do with Mayor Di Blasio, if I was a cop
posted by knoyers at 10:11 AM on December 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


Where in the ever-loving fuck does the goddamn union get off dictating policy, to the point that it is actively telling its members to disregard their superiors?

It doesn't - the Times last night reported that while that statement went out on a PBS official Twitter account, a union spokesman has since said that it was not an official PBS statement and it isn't the union's official stance. Give me a minute and I'll dig up the article.
posted by Itaxpica at 10:11 AM on December 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


Did you read my second paragraph? "Doesn't make it right. Doesn't make it "justified." It just makes it very, very predictable." I am not saying it is a defense. KILLING OFFICERS IS NOT AN ACT ONE CAN DEFEND. I am saying that this was an entirely predictable response. And the worse it gets on one side, the worse it is going to get on the other side.

I think you missed what I was saying. I wasn't implying that you were defending the shooter's actions. I was just saying tying the two actions together doesn't parse with me. You say it was a predictable response. I'm saying it was a nutter with a gun. You can try to figure out motives, but at the end of the day, the guy who knew is dead.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:11 AM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


i think NYC is about to go all PATCO on this union.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 10:12 AM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Questlove: If Pat Lynch claims the NYPD is now a "wartime" police department, then who specifically is he declaring war on?
posted by 1970s Antihero at 10:14 AM on December 21, 2014 [26 favorites]


Maybe as good a time as any to break the union. I say that as a union supporter, but police unions are really just fucked-up through-the-looking-glass anti-unions anyway. They're a greater danger to labour than capital itself. If it's war they want maybe they should get it.
posted by klanawa at 10:15 AM on December 21, 2014 [15 favorites]




Note that 46 dead cops is still less than half the people they themselves murdered.

Cite your source? These are all "murders" and not people shot in self-defense/defense of others? I ask both because the implied number of killings seems low, and yet the framing of them all as murders is also awfully rash.

There are massive problems with policing in this country. That's indisputable. It doesn't make every use of lethal force unjustified. Hyperbole doesn't help.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:18 AM on December 21, 2014 [7 favorites]


This Dec 4 article where de Blasio says he'll begin a "retraining" program for the NYPD might also be relevant to the bizarre reaction from the Police Benevolent Assocation head.
posted by mediareport at 10:20 AM on December 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


i think NYC is about to go all PATCO on this union.

If only PATCO had been as well-armed and prone to violence as the NYPD is.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:21 AM on December 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


klanawa: Maybe as good a time as any to break the union. I say that as a union supporter, but police unions are really just fucked-up through-the-looking-glass anti-unions anyway. They're a greater danger to labour than capital itself. If it's war they want maybe they should get it.

I still think cops need unions, but they can't be dictating marching orders. We need not bust the union in order to make a clear statement that orders come from civilian government.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:21 AM on December 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


I had a friend (who has since fallen into a hole and doesn't communicate with us) who was an expert on organizational corruption.

He pointed out that all big cities in the US follow a cyclical pattern where corruption builds up until something breaks, and then there's a massive house-cleaning where many officers either go to jail, are fired, or take early retirement (IIRC, about half the police officers in NYC did this after the Serpico/Knapp Commission enquiries, but I wasn't able to track down exact numbers, you might do better).

After that, you get a decade when the new guard actually believes that corruption is bad... and then they slowly bend...

Now, my friend's claim was this cycle lasted 20-30 years. But it's been over 40 years in New York City since the Serpico scandals, and (with the exception of the Dirty Thirty), there has been no reform.

The worst is that I know for a fact that at least some police officers are corrupt. I have seen a policeman be handed a wad of bills by a club owner. I lived next door to a cocaine club that the police would tell me had been closed down when they were open every night. One time there was a huge battle at 5:30 in the morning and I opened the door to see someone running away with blood all over him. Half the block called the police... when they showed up, I said to them after it was sorted, "Why can't you close them down?"

"Oh, they have a liquor license." "Well, I've been in there, and the license they display expired ten years ago. And even if they did have a license, it's 5:30, they should have been closed almost two hours ago. And they sell cocaine over the bar!"

I was some very tired regular person in a nightgown. The police couldn't really get angry at me - so they didn't say anything. They couldn't even look me in the eye. It was extremely depressing.

That was well over ten years ago and it's only gotten worse. And unlike the previous times, we now have a judiciary system that's also rotten to the core - so there is no way we'd ever redo anything like the Knapp Commission now.

I have no idea how this will play out, but it won't end well.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:25 AM on December 21, 2014 [81 favorites]


This Dec 4 article where de Blasio says he'll begin a "retraining" program for the NYPD might also be relevant to the bizarre reaction from the Police Benevolent Assocation head.

Prior to this NYPD have been having a pretty shit year that's made them at best look incompetent and at worst monsters: The Year in NYPD Public Relations Disasters
posted by Artw at 10:26 AM on December 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


I agree, tonycpsu, but it's hard to imagine a replacement for present police unions that wouldn't eventually take the same shape. The nature of the union tends to reflect the attitudes of its members.
posted by klanawa at 10:27 AM on December 21, 2014


And presumably all of you people who are attributing this to mental illness have never been abused and emasculated by the police -- for no better reason than because they could.

Fantasizing about killing ppl who wronged me---no. More harm to myself that way, thanks.
posted by discopolo at 10:28 AM on December 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


One thing that seems really obvious after all the police killings in the news this year is that police are the ones who get to write their own narrative. They're ALWAYS going to say they had a good reason for killing a person. That doesn't mean they're telling the truth.

Absolutely. And yet, I don't believe that every shooting by police is murder. Again, if we go tarring them all with the same brush, we're going to continue to get this bullshit solidarity where they all close ranks rather than the decent cops turning out the bad ones.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:29 AM on December 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


The nature of the union tends to reflect the attitudes of its members.

And that's generally a good thing, as I argued in another recent thread where this came up. But the state is always in charge, so the unions will have to accept that they are not allowed to threaten civilian control of the police apparatus. It's not like this kind of thing happens every day -- most of the time, the unions understand where the line is. In this case, I would find it perfectly acceptable for de Blasio to make a strong statement of who's in charge, and if this rhetoric / dictation of orders keeps coming out from PBA, use all legal avenues to force them to stop.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:33 AM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


And presumably all of you people who are attributing this to mental illness have never been abused and emasculated by the police -- for no better reason than because they could.

You can pretend that that's the truth, that that's the normal response, but it doesn't have to be and, in a society, it shouldn't be. And you clearly don't know any of our own histories with a bad cop and/or histories with good cops. So take your presumptions and throw them away.
posted by discopolo at 10:33 AM on December 21, 2014 [5 favorites]




Anyone able to find a news story/citation for the PBA walking back that ridiculous "wartime" email as not an official statement?
posted by mediareport at 10:40 AM on December 21, 2014


Again, if we go tarring them all with the same brush, we're going to continue to get this bullshit solidarity where they all close ranks rather than the decent cops turning out the bad ones.

But we don't do that! To be very accurate, only a small number of people do that - less than the ones who claim that fluoridation is communism and the President a Marxist Muslim.

People are generally very supportive of the police, willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, thanking them for their service.

So we don't "tar them with the same brush" - and yet they uniformly give us "bullshit solidarity where they all close ranks". The decent cops almost never turn out the bad ones. Look at Serpico, who was shot and left to die by his partners, and who was almost uniformly despised by NYPD at all levels, even though he was the epitome of a good cop.

The idea that if we sucked up to the police more than we already do, they might stop being criminals - this idea hasn't worked in the past, ever. Why do you think this will change in the future?

The day the head of the police union declares war on the rest of the world, the day that the police start telling us what rules they are going to follow and not the other way around - that should be the day we start a new and stronger Knapp Commission and heads will roll.

[editorializing] But this won't happen this time around. Many people and groups have a vested interest in keeping the lower 50% of society in perpetual fear and turmoil. Having an aggressive and terrifying police who are beyond control fits in extremely well into the plans of a small number of extremely rich people. If we're all freaking out about aggressive police, that's time we aren't spending stopping them from looting our economy.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:41 AM on December 21, 2014 [55 favorites]


if we go tarring them all with the same brush, we're going to continue to get this bullshit solidarity where they all close ranks rather than the decent cops turning out the bad ones.

I don't believe every police shooting is a murder either, but the 'closing ranks' thing is going to happen either way. It's a result of there being no real consequences to being caught as a bad cop. As long as police who commit crimes are shielded, it won't be safe for anybody to speak up. Look at what happened to Serpico.

Upon preview:
The idea that if we sucked up to the police more than we already do, they might stop being criminals - this idea hasn't worked in the past, ever. Why do you think this will change in the future?

Jinx, pretty much.
posted by mordax at 10:44 AM on December 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


This year 46 policemen were shot dead; last year 52,000 were assaulted.

Anyone got the numbers for murders and assaults of pizza delivery drivers? And they don't get to carry a gun, or draw a pension.
posted by dilettante at 10:48 AM on December 21, 2014 [6 favorites]


Horrendous crime. Officer Ramos has a 13-year old son who just lost his Dad. I am so sorry for all family and friends of the victims, and I pray they be granted strength and grace to handle this well (especially given that so many high-profile people are not).
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:48 AM on December 21, 2014 [11 favorites]




De Blasio has been pretty damn respectful and deferential to the police, while refusing to pretend they're flawless creatures who shit rainbows. Because the NYPD has a deeply toxic culture, this makes him the enemy. In addition to acknowledging the structural racism in policing, he and Bratton were finally taking action on the criminalization of mental illness in this city and the unnecessary deaths of unarmed people experiencing a psychiatric crisis.

That video of cops turning their backs on de Blasio and Bratton is one of the most infuriating things I've ever seen. It really says it all about how the NYPD views itself and the city it's supposed to serve.
posted by Mavri at 10:51 AM on December 21, 2014 [48 favorites]


> I post the quotation below on almost every thread about a shooting spree. It already seems to apply here.

I post this cartoon on almost every thread about a shooting spree. It already seems to apply here.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:51 AM on December 21, 2014 [28 favorites]


decent cops turning out the bad ones

Is this a thing that even happens? (I'm serious: I don't know of it happening, but it could be that it's just hushed up for some reason...an unexpected early retirement?) I'd be a lot more likely to believe the "bad-apple cop" theory if I occasionally saw some regular cops stand up to a bad-apple cop.
posted by spacewrench at 10:52 AM on December 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


Let's compare this to other outrageous events, shall we?

Hmm... guy goes nuts, murders person closest to him, then goes out to murder people he doesn't like... sounds like the Sandy Hook shootings... DIVIDED BY THIRTEEN. Of course, it is part of a cop's job to put yourself at risk, not a schoolteacher.

The response to this is like the response to the single nut in Sydney WASN'T.

Oh, and we still have no idea how many police officers shoot civilians, justified or not, because they really don't want us to know.

The "closing ranks" thing has already happened. Probably long before the current outrages. No working cop wants to be Serpico.

I express my sympathy to the families of those killed. But this is no LESS "a part of the job" than a Lumberjack being killed by a falling tree, and guess which one is the Most Dangerous Job?

I shouldn't be writing this; the police chief in my little liberal California town wrote a newspaper op-ed verbally attacking anyone who does not support ALL cops (like I said, 'closing ranks'). Fortunately, I'm very white.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:52 AM on December 21, 2014 [9 favorites]


I don't know the story about why he killed his girlfriend

He did not kill her, he allegedly shot her.

Is there a story that could possibly explain "why" he shot his girlfriend? I don't think there is. Once again, it seems absolutely insane to have to say this.
posted by Nevin at 10:53 AM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Regarding cops and "risk":
The 2012 data reports that for “police and sheriff’s patrol officers,” the Fatal Injury Rate — that is, the “number of fatal occupational injuries per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers” — was 15.0.

That includes all causes of death — of the 105 dead officers recorded in the 2012 data, only 51 died due to “violence and other injuries by persons or animals.” Nearly as many, 48, died in “transportation incidents,” i.e., crashing their cars.

Here are some occupations with higher fatality rates than being a cop:

Logging workers: 129.9
Fishers and related fishing workers: 120.8
Aircraft pilots and flight engineers: 54.3
Roofers: 42.2
Structural iron and steel workers: 37.0
Refuse and recyclable material collectors: 32.3
Drivers/sales workers and truck drivers: 24.3
Electrical power-line installers and repairers: 23.9
Farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers: 22.8
Construction laborers: 17.8
Taxi drivers and chauffeurs: 16.2
Maintenance and repairs workers, general: 15.7

And for good measure, some more that approach the allegedly terrifying risks of being a police officer:

First-line supervisors of landscaping, lawn service, and groundskeeping workers: 14.7
Grounds maintenance workers: 14.2
Athletes, coaches, umpires, and related workers: 13.0
When Will They Shoot?
posted by standardasparagus at 10:54 AM on December 21, 2014 [102 favorites]


This is unspeakably tragic that these two cops were murdered - my heart goes out to their families and their colleagues. Violence is never the answer.

It's depressing that instead of this being opportunity for police to gain sympathy and support in their time of loss, the union leaders chose to double down on bully-speak. Blaming DeBlasio and turning on him is out of line. Gotta wonder who the police unions blamed when the two Vegas cops were tragically killed by anti-government nutjobs.
posted by madamjujujive at 10:55 AM on December 21, 2014 [16 favorites]


I didn't realize that they'd turned their backs on Bill Bratton as well as de Blasio. That blows my mind given Bratton's pedigree and really makes the nature of the opposition crystal clear for me.
posted by feloniousmonk at 10:55 AM on December 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


Saddening all around. My sympathies to the officers families.
posted by jonmc at 10:56 AM on December 21, 2014


Someone get this guy away from the media, please: Rudy Giuliani Accuses Obama, Black Leaders Of Stoking 'Anti-Police Hatred'
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:59 AM on December 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


Courageous people look trouble in the eye. Only cowards turn their backs.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:02 AM on December 21, 2014 [10 favorites]


And yet, I don't believe that every shooting by police is murder. Again, if we go tarring them all with the same brush, we're going to continue to get this bullshit solidarity where they all close ranks rather than the decent cops turning out the bad ones.

I think you got your cause and effect reversed. When the good cops start turning out the bad ones I'll quit lumping them all together.

To paraphrase a quote often erroneously attributed to Edmund Burke: the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil cops is that good cops do nothing.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:03 AM on December 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


I'd like to go on record, as someone who respects the job of policing and at one point seriously considered joining it's ranks, as saying that the Garner and Brown killings saddened and disgusted me, as did a lot of the response, Not all critics are 'haters," Mr. Guiliani. (Also, both the Garner and Brown families have condemned this shooting as has Al Sharpton even).
posted by jonmc at 11:03 AM on December 21, 2014 [10 favorites]


Lynch is a sleazebag. He defends dirty cops then blames the mayor for this?
posted by Liquidwolf at 11:03 AM on December 21, 2014


They probably have a hate on for Bratton for calling Akai Gurley "innocent".'
posted by Artw at 11:06 AM on December 21, 2014


The top 10 deadliest jobs in the America.

1. Logging workers
2. Fishers and related fishing workers
3. Aircraft pilot and flight engineers
4. Roofers
5. Structural iron and steel workers
6. Refuse and recyclable material collectors
7. Electrical power-line installers and repairers
8. Drivers/sales workers and truck drivers
9. Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers
10. Construction laborers

Hey, you know what's not on that list?
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:08 AM on December 21, 2014 [33 favorites]


The mayor’s hands are literally dripping with our blood because of his words actions and policies and we have, for the first time in a number of years, become a "wartime" police department. We will act accordingly.
I am genuinely confused; how is a wartime police department going to look different than the police departments we have now? Are they going to use more military vehicles and weapons? Are they going to call in airstrikes?

I'm sympathetic to the police for being angry at the deaths of two cops, but the reaction they are demonstrating is possibly the worst thing they could do. They will further alienate themselves from a public who already feels like they are living in a police state.

The idea that if we sucked up to the police more than we already do, they might stop being criminals - this idea hasn't worked in the past, ever. Why do you think this will change in the future?

To continue the war-like theme, sucking up was called appeasement in world war 2, and look how that ended.

[godwin!]
posted by quin at 11:09 AM on December 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


Hey, you know what's not on that list?

How does convince store/liquor store clerk not make that list?
posted by cjorgensen at 11:09 AM on December 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


madamjujujive: Gotta wonder who the police unions blamed when the two Vegas cops were tragically killed by anti-government nutjobs.

Or here in Pennsylvania, where right-wing survivalist Eric Frien killed a state cop and injured another. It's quite odd how this particular incident must be the fault of de Blasio or Obama, while these other guys were just lone wolves acting on their own volition.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:11 AM on December 21, 2014 [35 favorites]


A lot of people in this thread and out of it need to understand the difference between random violence and systemic violence and why this is not comparable to Eric Garner, Michael Brown, et. al in any way other than arguing for more deaths of people like Eric Garner and Michael Brown at the hands of unaccountable police forces.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:11 AM on December 21, 2014 [9 favorites]


Gotta wonder who the police unions blamed when the two Vegas cops were tragically killed by anti-government nutjobs.


The nearest "Liberal".
posted by Liquidwolf at 11:12 AM on December 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


I am genuinely confused; how is a wartime police department going to look different than the police departments we have now?

Maybe it means they will actually adhere to international conventions against genocide and the killing of unarmed civilians.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:12 AM on December 21, 2014 [40 favorites]


The NYPD will surely stop at Czechoslovakia.
posted by Talez at 11:12 AM on December 21, 2014 [20 favorites]


So has the press started digging into these cops' records? Have they started to see what they were up to in the hours leading up to their shooting? Have they looked into whether or not they came from broken homes? Because that's what we do when someone is killed, right?
posted by cjorgensen at 11:13 AM on December 21, 2014 [51 favorites]


cjorgenson: The figures are averaged out with respect to the convenience store proprietors in nice, safe places.

Yeah, in actuality I suspect that policing in the NYPD is quite a safe occupation but I also suspect that the occupational ranking doesn't account for a probable extreme multimodality in the distribution of danger in space and in time. (or, rather, it is a listing of the jobs where it is unimodally really dangerous throughout the United States and for the whole of the reporting period). Better to have chloropleth maps, I suspect, but is there a good way to viably show categorical data in chloropleth maps at a county-like level? Perhaps there's some technique like block renormalization or something.
posted by curuinor at 11:15 AM on December 21, 2014 [2 favorites]




A military officer who turned his back to the Commander in Chief would at a minimum see his path forward permanently blocked.

I mean if they want to be Military gotta take the good with the bad.
posted by JPD at 11:16 AM on December 21, 2014 [22 favorites]


Cop friends of mine have posted about how dangerous their job is relative to the average American job. I've had to rein myself in to keep from posting that top-10 list.
posted by persona au gratin at 11:19 AM on December 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


Among other things, I have a real problem with blaming the mayor in the "we tried to warn you" sense. There's no evidence that this killer paid ay attention to what Mayor de Blasio was saying. Nor should a man with teenage, biracial children be anything less than very concerned about his children becoming targets.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:20 AM on December 21, 2014 [9 favorites]


This was an obvious outcome. When you remove nearly all political and nearly all judicial avenues for redress, someone somewhere will respond.

I deplore pretty much all violence that's not of the back-actually-to-the-wall self-defense type, but our society and our state do not share my view; there is all manner of legally-sanctioned official state violence, carried out, nominally, in accordance with the will of the people.

I dislike this situation intensely, but that's beside the point, since the society that my state exists to serve apparently wants violence (in the form of prisons, executions, drone strikes, hummus enemas, extrajudicial killing of young black men, etc.) or at least is sufficiently ambivalent about these kinds of violence that serious changes are never demanded with sufficient force to make a difference.

I am therefore sympathetic to the feelings of people who are irritated when none of that violence-ostensibly-in-the-name-of-justice is ever directed at people whose own violent acts also constitute an abuse of power.

In fact, if our societally-demanded state-sanctioned violence machine were actually justice-based, every cop who ever pulled a trigger would suffer legal consequences (all of which are, at bottom, violent in one way or another); after all, officer, if a situation is dire enough that killing is the only way to salvage it, then one would think you'd be willing to go to jail for it, automatically. Great power, great responsibility etc.

In actual fact, the system of state-sanctioned violence doesn't usually do the ouroboros thing very well, even when its own logic would demand it. So, while I obviously don't condone some lunatic's violent act of misplaced revenge, I find that, despite the heinous nature of this crime, I'm having trouble feeling the same level of empathetic outrage that was inspired in me by, say, the murders of Garner, Brown, Rice, etc.

unspeakably tragic

We're doing a pretty good job of speaking, ad nauseam, about it, actually.
posted by busted_crayons at 11:20 AM on December 21, 2014 [11 favorites]


while these other guys were just lone wolves acting on their own volition

Just like domestic terrorism committed by whites is never actually called "terrorism".
posted by quin at 11:21 AM on December 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


#NYPD officer denounces his oath to "protect & serve" the citizens of #NYC. #NYPDShooting pic.twitter.com/FiwVY5uMQh— Bipartisan Report (@Bipartisanism) December 21, 2014
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:22 AM on December 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


hummus enemas

Wait, what?
posted by unknownmosquito at 11:22 AM on December 21, 2014


According to Ismaayil Brinsley's instagram, his attack on the officers was a premeditated act of vengeance.
posted by Renoroc at 11:24 AM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Cop friends of mine have posted about how dangerous their job is relative to the average American job. I've had to rein myself in to keep from posting that top-10 list.

Why? Show them that they are mistaken about how dangerous their job is. The more cops that learn this, the better.

hummus enemas

Wait, what?


See the CIA torture report.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:24 AM on December 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


OH on Twitter: "For one second, imagine of the head of a teacher's union blamed a school shooting on George Bush. In hours, how long would the union exist?"
posted by AceRock at 11:25 AM on December 21, 2014 [35 favorites]


Wait, what?

See e.g. here.
posted by busted_crayons at 11:26 AM on December 21, 2014




feckless fecal fear mongering, if that tweet was real, it doesn't exist anymore.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:29 AM on December 21, 2014


Why? Show them that they are mistaken about how dangerous their job is. The more cops that learn this, the better.

Then explain to religious fundemantalists how they're not the ones being oppressed. I'm just curious to see how these conversations go.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:29 AM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


This wanted poster (from The Year in NYPD Public Relations Disasters) is comically awful. The NYPD is providing a disincentive for citizen cooperation by simultaneously treating witnesses like criminals while promising anonymity to those who would help identify anonymous witnesses.
posted by peeedro at 11:30 AM on December 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


#NYPD officer denounces his oath to "protect & serve" the citizens of #NYC. #NYPDShooting pic.twitter.com/FiwVY5uMQh— Bipartisan Report (@Bipartisanism) December 21, 2014

Anyone who uses the word "family" in a politically-charged discussion is, with high probability, dog-whistling at the other fascists.
posted by busted_crayons at 11:30 AM on December 21, 2014 [2 favorites]




#NYPD officer denounces his oath to "protect & serve"

As such, he should be fired. Not arrested or otherwise penalized, but if he renounces the oath which put him in his position, he should not be allowed to keep that position. We wouldn't allow a doctor who refused to follow HIPAA to go undisciplined, would we?

his attack on the officers was a premeditated act of vengeance.

Yes. But two thoughts; 1.) It was a premeditated act of vengeance from someone who was clearly unstable. That doesn't make the people he killed any less dead, but it does suggest that his motivations might not have been as clear cut as his online messages made them out to be.

And 2.) What does, if anything, his murderous actions have to do with the reaction of the police department towards the mayor and the rest of the citizenry? To declare war over the behavior of a likely mentally ill man might be seen as, I don't know, just a bit of an overreaction? And to suggest that the mayor is in some way culpable because he taught his children to be wary of police, or tried to effect some changes to stop and frisk, or just didn't toe the line with his subordinates is absurd.
posted by quin at 11:33 AM on December 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


The murder of the officers is horrible and senseless.
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:33 AM on December 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


On twitter people are pointing to the police wearing the "I can breathe" shirts as the worst sort of irony.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:35 AM on December 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


I was curious, so I plotted the ranked fatality from the total data (http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/cfoi/cfoi_rates_2012hb.pdf) on a loglog plot. I'm too lazy to actually do the tests for MLE which would confirm a power law, but you can see by inspection it's incompatible with saying it's Gaussian.

That would mean that the police could still have the perception that it's a really dangerous job without being within a factor of 10 of being the most dangerous job, just as you think of a person with $1 billion as rich even though they aren't within a factor of 10 of the richest person. So that's one way to look at it.
posted by curuinor at 11:36 AM on December 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


How is this not police mutiny? The brass should be fired immediately and the national guard brought in. Maybe that's too extreme but this is terrifying. Our highly armed peace officers already act with such insane impunity, they can't be allowed to declare 'war' and to essentially repudiate the mayor's authority. That just turns them into a terroristic paramilitary organization.

On preview, I see the 'memo' might be fake. God I hope it is.
posted by dis_integration at 11:36 AM on December 21, 2014 [13 favorites]


i think NYC is about to go all PATCO on this union.

RICO, one hopes.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 11:37 AM on December 21, 2014 [6 favorites]


How does convince store/liquor store clerk not make that list?

Primarily because violent crime is staggeringly rare, despite the news and entertainment industry. In the 1980s (best study I could find quickly), liquor store clerks had a workplace homicide rate of 8.0 per 100K workers, and the national homicide rate was similar; around 8.0 per 100,000 people. (Of course, most people aren't killed while working, so this reflects an excess rate).
Secondarily, there are loads of convenience and liquor stores in places with lower gun crime rates, lowering the overall rate for these workers.
And tertiarily, convenience store clerks aren't usually broken out as separate occupations in statistics; they do basically the same job and are included in the same group as all other store cashiers.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 11:41 AM on December 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


I can't get over the idea that Patrick Lynch in 5 minutes in front of a microphone has more pull than the people of New York. That one man affiliated with an army of armed men charged with keeping the peace just set the tone for the entire city. I can't believe the people that have been mixed up in this charade - I look at the cops and they look like okay guys to me. I look at Eric Garner and he just seems like a nice guy to me too.

Ismaaiyl Brinsley seems to me like a completely disconnected and irrelevant lunatic that despite his utter repugnancy has been allowed to strike exactly the right chord to shatter everything. The silence from City Hall is killing me. The PBA narrative is killing me.

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that."

Lynch wants to whip the city into chaos. When the police are willing to descend into the darkness to "solve the city's problems" - I don't know what to say. I know nothing about De Blasio but he has to come out extremely strong on this, otherwise, he's totally screwed. I worry that he won't.
posted by phaedon at 11:48 AM on December 21, 2014 [6 favorites]


Family Reportedly Feared 'Violent' Gunman Who Murdered Two NYPD Officers

The police were told he was scary, knew he had a record, he was wanted for shooting someone, and he made online threats. Yet that wasn't enough intelligence to prevent this. Which to me shows the laws that allow spying by the state are worthless. To the police and government it will be seen as a reason why they need more surveillance.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:48 AM on December 21, 2014 [15 favorites]


There are massive problems with policing in this country. That's indisputable. It doesn't make every use of lethal force unjustified. Hyperbole doesn't help.

On average white cops kill two unarmed black people per week, that we know off. The overwhelming majority of people killed by the cops are unarmed and innocent. Here are just some examples.

So yeah, it's far from hyperbole to say that cops kill on average twice as many innocent people as are killed in the line of duty (sic) and I'd appreciate that when you're ignorant of that fact, you'd hit google first before getting all amazed about this.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:49 AM on December 21, 2014 [39 favorites]


You know, it doesn't need to be in the top 10 to be a dangerous job - I don't dispute for a second that policing is a dangerous and stressful job, I certainly wouldn't want to do it nor would I want a loved one to have that job. But going to war against the general public and doubling down on insularity is not the way to make the job less stressful and less dangerous. The public has trust issues and you can't demand trust or respect, they need to be earned. The tempered criticisms by Obama, Holder and DeBlasio have been measured and mild - being supportive and fair should not require 100% blanket fealty for the actions of all.
posted by madamjujujive at 11:50 AM on December 21, 2014 [8 favorites]


Just for fun, we could all start enumerating all the "going out in a blaze of glory" suicide-by-cop cases where the perp, aka suicide victim, is a white male because almost all suicide by cop victims were white males (over 90%).

As I ported out here, we'll probably learn that (a) Ismaaiyl Brinsley had committed domestic violence before, but (b) his girlfriend never called the cops because they're more dangerous, which makes this whole case really a problem of the NYPD's creation.

We should take away the cops' guns and train them to diffuse situations rather than perpetuate violence. Just right off the bat that'll resolve 50-100% of the suicides-by-cop cases. As the police's new mindset seeped into the community, it'll make domestic abuse safe to report as well, meaning cases like Ismaaiyl Brinsley get caught early. And finally it'll yield far better information about actual organized crime
posted by jeffburdges at 11:52 AM on December 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


[…] his girlfriend never called the cops […]

His mother and sister did. Read the Gothamist link above.

[..] meaning cases like Ismaaiyl Brinsley get caught early.

He was caught early. And often.

Yet, he still managed to get a hold of a gun and murder (and presumably attempt to do so with the girlfriend as well).
posted by cjorgensen at 11:57 AM on December 21, 2014 [2 favorites]




This is what "politicizing" events actually looks like. Meanwhile, the day before the Ferguson decision came down, we had a police ambush in our extended neighborhood. Some right wing anti-government nut set his house on fire, then waited in ambush for the first responders. Killed a county sherriff officer and wounded several others taking pot shots at random people. Where was the national news outcry over that incident? There was none because the news cycle hadn't reached the point where it was opportune to start narrating the backlash, plus in this case, the offender was a white "conservatives," which complicates the political framing.

The reality is, these events aren't completely unrelated, but they don't support the simplistic team sports, us-against-them narrative that some less honest actors (like Giuliani) on the public stage would like the public to believe.

Fooling people into making the wrong kinds of generalizations from particular events is what the daily work of politics in the US is all about, at a certain level.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:08 PM on December 21, 2014 [36 favorites]








I've seen the dangerous jobs lists before and it makes perfect sense to me that cops aren't in as much danger as they and most people think they are. But one probable big difference in the causes of death in these lists relates to human intent. Taxi drivers, sex workers and store clerks, along with cops, are probably those most likely to be shot at or killed by other means on the job. (Can't find those stats: anyone have numbers to back up my gut assertion?) So there's a good chance that cops are #1 on the list of those deliberately killed on the job.

Most people probably feel differently about tragic accidents that befall someone working in a dangerous industry like forestry or mining, versus the rash or deliberate killing of any cop anywhere.

One reason is that I think we're all more emotionally attuned to killings, where another human being can be seen as a direct cause of someone's death, versus deaths in poorly regulated industries and workplaces where "accidents happen".

Add in the fear many people feel about their neighbourhoods, stoked by media, and the danger faced by cops from those deliberately targeting them -- the cops who are supposed to be there to protect "us", whoever "us" is according to your background and breadth of empathy -- and that kind of death takes on an lot more salience than many more killed by the background dangers of everyday life, like driving. The death by gun of a cop isn't like the death by garbage truck of your UPS delivery guy: the cop is supposed to be working directly for us against the myriad of scary humans out there. One more cop gone by car accident on the job means a full cop funeral and media coverage, and a small rise of background anxiety. One more cop gone by shooting means that They are out there and gunning for Our protectors, which means that We are in more danger, and this fear and anger is whipped up even further by the more extensive media coverage of the case, the funeral and the follow-up.

tl;dr: Until we start seeing every single lumberjack funeral covered in the media, until we start seeing an annual listing of people whose lives were cut short by bad air, bad water, bad shit in general in the environment, and until we learn to start fucking dealing with fear, the death of police will continue to be much more salient for most people in this society than the many, many deaths that outnumber them.
posted by maudlin at 12:15 PM on December 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


Athletes, coaches, umpires, and related workers: 13.0

Will nobody acknowledge the sacrifice of Dwayne Wade, Lebron James, D. Rose?

THESE MEN ARE HEROES WHO PUT THEIR LIFE ON THE LINE!
posted by hal_c_on at 12:15 PM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Some union leaders suggested that Mr. de Blasio was conveying that police officers were to be feared.

Hmmm.. Aren't they to be feared?
posted by notreally at 12:18 PM on December 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


But of course, the teacher's unions are the ones that need to be "reformed" and purged of their bad performers at this historical moment. Not, y'know, the cops who declare war on the citizens they've sworn to protect.
posted by clockzero at 12:19 PM on December 21, 2014 [6 favorites]


feckless fecal fear mongering, if that tweet was real, it doesn't exist anymore.

My bad, I forgot to post the followup:
so #blacktwitter found that racist #NYPD cop who announced he wants to kill ppl! https://t.co/OsHHkr2AgAcc: @PhuzzieSlippers— #HandsOffAssata (@AmandaMichelle) December 21, 2014
Same person, it seems.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:20 PM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Ain't solely about being "caught", cjorgensen, but about what being "caught" means : A locally-unthinking bureaucratic punishment designed and implemented for class and racial control won't make anyone less likely to commit crimes. There are however plenty of countries without these problems because they expect their police to be a more constructive force. And they take away their cops' guns for most activities.
posted by jeffburdges at 12:21 PM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


I am sorry for the loss of two officers to horrific and senseless violence.

But this in no way changes my opinion of the NYPD, whose brutality I have witnessed personally numerous times, in both petty and egregious forms, and in most cases targeted at innocent people. The litany of egregious propaganda responses coming from their advocates and spokesmen today only further convinces me that federal monitoring of NYPD is needed in this city. The fascist tendencies that usually seethe just below the blue surface are currently on full public and shameful public display. The lack of professionalism is breathtaking.
posted by spitbull at 12:22 PM on December 21, 2014 [20 favorites]


I'd believe that he killed the officers because of Brown and Garner, but then why did he try to kill his girlfriend? Surely she's not to blame. This sounds like murder as a kind of opportunistic updating so that he wasn't just another guy who tried to commit violence against a woman, but rather someone with righteous indignation over the corruption in our criminal justice system. He just sounds like a violent man, though.
posted by scunning at 12:23 PM on December 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


> Friends of mine have sat in courthouses at "assaulting an office" trails for protestors. The charges are almost always frighteningly overblown and or imaginary.

Cecily McMillan: On being a woman inside and outside of the criminal justice system

Cecily McMillan on Democracy Now.
posted by homunculus at 12:23 PM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Who incited Eric Frein, a white right wing terrorist, to shoot two Pennsylvania troopers?
posted by spitbull at 12:24 PM on December 21, 2014


saulgoodman - great points - I think as politicized as that indecent got was that there is now serious discussion going on about the town's dispatch system.
posted by Cookiebastard at 12:25 PM on December 21, 2014


unions are good things to have and we should have more of them

but the NYPD union is infected with bad leadership, paranoid group-think, something. I really feel for DeBlasio here. He was brave in saying what needed to be said re: Dante and the police. It's arguable that what he said had the effect of maintaining order, because he was giving voice to the concerns of many in his city; without that, people will do what they do when they have no voice: get motherfucking angry as hell.

I would like some narrative emerge quickly about how DeBlasio did the right thing, the NYPD union leadership is showing that there is something sick pervading police departments, and the guy who shot the cops was homicidal/maybe mentally ill, and by the way wouldn't better health care for the mentally ill be appropriate?

But that's not gonna happen, and we're going to have a GOP primary to throw the foulest bullshit regarding this around and in our faces 24/7. Fuck all around, man. Just fuck it.
posted by angrycat at 12:25 PM on December 21, 2014 [9 favorites]


Re: murders: Taxicab drivers still are the first in this sorts of situations. But police are second. No stats given for sex workers in my source. Source.
posted by curuinor at 12:32 PM on December 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


I have this pet theory that the pervasive approach to crime procedurals on TV in this country warps the perception of real police. Aside from The Shield I can't think of a TV program that does anything other than treat police (especially NYPD) as heroes, never mind also regularly portraying extralegal actions by police as justified because, you know, there are bad guys what need catchin'!

De Blasio should replace Bratton, except I doubt he can find a suitable candidate anywhere in that rotten department.
posted by axiom at 12:33 PM on December 21, 2014 [10 favorites]


The "closing ranks" thing has already happened. Probably long before the current outrages. No working cop wants to be Serpico.

Frank Serpico: The Police Are Still Out of Control. I should know.

Serpico: Incidents like Eric Garner's death drive wedge between police and society.
posted by homunculus at 12:34 PM on December 21, 2014 [12 favorites]


I think it's a mistake to agonize over the murderer's psychology, and not just because all the information we have is fragmentary and rumour-filled, and he's dead and cannot tell us. The structural issues are really what matter here. Maybe he was just on a killing spree, but what might cause someone who has gone into that kind of amok state to travel from Baltimore to Brooklyn just to kill the first police officers he could (if that is in fact what happened)?

Maybe there are flaws in the structure of society that give young black men a reason to be filled with rage against police?

Similarly, might there be flaws in the social order that lead us to give the job of keeping the peace to violent, racist authoritarians who view the communities they serve as their enemies?
posted by dis_integration at 12:34 PM on December 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


mediareport: "Among other grievances, the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, the city’s largest police union, has in recent weeks criticized the mayor for ... conveying that police officers were to be feared."

My goodness gracious, where *ever* would that idea possibly come from?
posted by notsnot at 12:46 PM on December 21, 2014 [7 favorites]


Maybe there are only a few bad apples on the police force. This seems to say that such a situation would once have required drastic action:
But as the memory of rotting apples fades, the meaning of the "bad apple" proverb has changed. In 19th century America, it was a staple of Sunday morning sermons: "As one bad apple spoils the others, so you must show no quarter to sin or sinners." Or it could suggest that finding one malefactor in a group should make you suspicious of everybody else. "A bad apple spoils the bin," one journalist wrote in 1898 of the Dreyfus Affair; if one officer is capable of forgery then why wouldn't others be as well?

Back then, nobody ever talked about "just a few bad apples" or "only a few rotten apples" — the whole point was that even one was enough to taint the group. These days, those are the phrases people use to imply that some misdeeds were an isolated incident — a couple of rogue cops, a handful of unprincipled loan officers, two or three sociopathic soldiers.
Who's responsible for the change in meaning of the expression? It seems to be The Osmonds.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:49 PM on December 21, 2014 [27 favorites]


And pro-police Twits had already hijacked the #blacklivesmatter hashtag into #bluelivesmatter. Well, you can now call this equal treatment...
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:54 PM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


There's a war going on and it's the cops who are fighting it.

There's a war going on outside, no man is safe from...
-1995
posted by milarepa at 1:00 PM on December 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


I've been pointing that out for years Kirth Gerson. I love it when people use the "A few bad apples" excuse, because coming up with a response is so effortless.

No one seems to remember that it meant that they spoiled the lot, and everything had to be thrown out or checked very carefully.
posted by quin at 1:05 PM on December 21, 2014 [6 favorites]


An eye for an eye leaves everybody blind.
posted by Monkeymoo at 1:10 PM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


There is one, and only one, common factor in all of these deaths by firearms,--that is firearms. Police on blacks, black on black, mentally ill, misogyny, drug fueled, white supremacists, political radicals, etc. This is not an anti-gun rant--just the simple statement and I will bet--money to money, that deaths by firearms and the militarization of police is directly proportional to the private ownership of guns--particularly handguns and assault type weapons. Where are the guns and where are the very real concerns about the militarization of police--U.S., South Africa, Columbia, Mexico, Brazil and the list goes on. The U.S.is blessed/cursed with the rights of individual freedom over collective welfare--as long as this mentality persists, and it probably will for a long time, the U.S. will continue to reflect the extremes of violence/compassion, the best and worst of schools, substantial wealth inequality, privilege/humility. But when it comes to violence--if civilians are heavily armed there will be unnecessary deaths where ever the guns are--police or citizen.
posted by rmhsinc at 1:23 PM on December 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


I think it's a mistake to agonize over the murderer's psychology, and not just because all the information we have is fragmentary and rumour-filled, and he's dead and cannot tell us. The structural issues are really what matter here. Maybe he was just on a killing spree, but what might cause someone who has gone into that kind of amok state to travel from Baltimore to Brooklyn just to kill the first police officers he could (if that is in fact what happened)?

Maybe there are flaws in the structure of society that give young black men a reason to be filled with rage against police?

Similarly, might there be flaws in the social order that lead us to give the job of keeping the peace to violent, racist authoritarians who view the communities they serve as their enemies?


I dunno, MLK and Gandhi certainly achieved great success by renouncing violence even when confronted by a racist power structure.

And that Jesus guy too.
posted by Nevin at 1:31 PM on December 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


MLK and Ghandi only succeeded because they seemed the more reasonable option against genuinely violent opposition.
posted by PinkMoose at 1:39 PM on December 21, 2014 [20 favorites]


Heartbreaking.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:47 PM on December 21, 2014 [8 favorites]


The collage from December 9th kills me. What a great man, to have raised such a loving son.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:49 PM on December 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


There is one, and only one, common factor in all of these deaths by firearms,--that is firearms.

Except where there is death by choking, beating, and tazing. Those happen a bit as well. It's not by firearms, but it certainly is a number that is larger than zero, but since police shootings tend to draw more attention, people often pay less attention to these deaths.

I will bet--money to money, that deaths by firearms and the militarization of police is directly proportional to the private ownership of guns--particularly handguns and assault type weapons.

I'd hold off on that bet; according to Gallup, the number of households with guns in the US has dropped a bit (it varies year to year, but on the whole, it is trending down) whereas the militarization of police has only climbed since the War on Drugs started in the '80s, (aided by the military selling much of their surplus gear to law enforcement for pennies.)
posted by quin at 1:50 PM on December 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


I hope de Blasio has the guts and political capital to make Lynch and the PBA squirm and suffer. The NYPD is an occupying army that treats the citizens of New York like garbage, and it needs to be brought firmly and sharply to heel.
posted by ryanshepard at 1:52 PM on December 21, 2014 [12 favorites]


I dunno, MLK and Gandhi certainly achieved great success by renouncing violence even when confronted by a racist power structure.

And that Jesus guy too.


MLK studied Ghandi, and appreciated that Ghandi's nonviolent resistance approach was, tactically, extremely shrewd, especially when dealing with a more powerful and larger adversary.

Explicit nonviolence does a number of things:
- It self-selects and self-perpetuates nonviolence itself by not attracting allies who prefer more violent means
- The moral higher ground and sense of purpose helps with morale and motivation in the face of setbacks
- It stays on positive side in the eyes of third parties and public opinion
- Lures the adversary into negative or violent tactics
- Divides the opposing coalitions, the more reasonable of whom may find it hard to identify with the more violent/radical ones

Meanwhile, demonstrations, protests, and strikes can help press its agenda and disrupt business-as-usual and the status quo, which is often what the powers that be (eg the State) is most interested in preserving.

Its not just a moralistic/philosophical preference or imperative (as with, say, Jesus), its a strategy and set of tactics that are effective if your enemy is as powerful as, say, a government.
posted by AceRock at 1:56 PM on December 21, 2014 [36 favorites]


Quinn--I will stick with the bet--looking at international statistics not fluctuations with in the U.S.
posted by rmhsinc at 1:58 PM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


"I dunno, MLK and Gandhi certainly achieved great success by renouncing violence even when confronted by a racist power structure.

And that Jesus guy too.
"

You mean martyr, martyr and ur-martyr? I support the tactical worth of non-violence as much as the next guy, but I don't think many people are willing to get murdered to reform the police and they shouldn't have to be.
posted by klangklangston at 2:06 PM on December 21, 2014 [19 favorites]


The brass should be fired immediately and the national guard brought in.

I've seen the national guard brought up elsewhere. People don't seem to realize the national guard has virtually zero ability to conduct criminal investigations. If you would like them to drive up and down the street in humvees that's fine but investigate a murder? Not going to happen. All of the services have criminal investigation units but those are active duty and they are legally forbidden from policing civilians. The best you're going to get are MP units and those are roughly equivalent to beat cops. TL;DR: National Guard = no detectives
posted by MikeMc at 2:11 PM on December 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


In fact, an-eye-for-an-eye is a significant component of the problem with the NYPD, borken windows theory, etc., Monkeymoo.

I haven't heard anyone demanding adoring phalanxes, corb. We want the NYPD to have epic levels of transparency imposed upon them, through which NYPD officers to actually do time for their crimes. We also want this union that promotes brutality, corruption, and abuse to be disbanded.

Just to be specific about PinkMoose's comment : India's population massively outnumbered their English occupiers, and the English empire was collapsing from within anyways, so the English retained considerable economic interest in India through negotiating with Ghandi. American capitalists were concerned about placating a left-wing intelligentsia that'd recently executed the capitalists and established a power base in Eastern Europe, and preventing more radical African-American factions from allying with them, plus compromising with MLK let them sideline his more economic reforms.

Tangentially related : Pierce county transit police profile and abuse disabled man

posted by jeffburdges at 2:16 PM on December 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


"Fun" Fact: The NYPD wasn't armed with lethal weapons (nor was any other civilian police department) until the Astor Place Riot in 1849. The National Guard came in with rifles and shot indiscriminately into crowds of immigrants.

Anti-immigrant groups in YNC demanded that the NYPD be given the ability to do the same thing.

Because this has always been about race.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:17 PM on December 21, 2014 [44 favorites]


I hope de Blasio has the guts and political capital to make Lynch and the PBA squirm and suffer.

What could he actually do? Use his bully pulpit to shame them? Somehow I don't see the PBA feeling any shame (especially if de Blasio is the one trying to shame them). Bust the union? If Wisconsin is any guide that has to come from the state level and even Scott Walker didn't attempt to bust the police or firefighter's unions. Teachers? Sure. Cops? Maybe next time...
posted by MikeMc at 2:26 PM on December 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


13 year old son of slain officer:
"He was their [sic] for me everyday of my life, he was the best father I could ask for. It's horrible that someone gets shot dead just for being a police officer. Everyone says they hate cops but they are the people that they call for help. I will always love you and I will never forget you. RIP Dad."
posted by stbalbach at 2:26 PM on December 21, 2014 [7 favorites]


Because this has always been about race.

The immigrants in question were Irish, and white (or, per Noel Ignatiev in the process of becoming considered to be so), and the rich who controlled the police had, I'm sure, no real love for the working class nativists attacking them. My guess is that the indiscriminate murder had more to do with the perennial fear among the wealthy in early 19th c. New York (and which came to pass in 1863, regardless), that they were losing control of the city to the poor and working class.
posted by ryanshepard at 2:27 PM on December 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


Wow, thank you for that historical insight, Navelgazer!

I doubt NY needs the national guard. Instead :  Remove the NYPD's firearms, let them use guns only when a judge issues a warrant for a specific purpose.  Investigate NYPD malfeasance with outside forces, like the FBI or Secret Service. In particular, obtain a broad warrant to tap all the NYPD's internal communications.  Appoint outside prosecutors to bring charges against individual NYPD officials who commit crimes.  All prosecutions should be discussed very publicly making it clear that (a) the government will sort out this mess and (b) the NYPD will not continue to get away with it's crimes.  Reteach NYPD cops about all the positive and constructive ways to be a cop.
posted by jeffburdges at 2:28 PM on December 21, 2014 [9 favorites]


I share the view that the behavior of the pba president and various right wing politicians is disgusting.
posted by humanfont at 2:30 PM on December 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


Remove the NYPD's firearms, let them use guns only when a judge issues a warrant for a specific purpose.

With the number of guns out on the streets, you think there's going to be a single officer left if they aren't allowed to carry as well?
posted by tonycpsu at 2:30 PM on December 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


Yep!
posted by Navelgazer at 2:35 PM on December 21, 2014 [7 favorites]


Yes, tonycpsu. Because right now, today, the number of armed citizens in NYC far outnumbers that of the police. If the population wanted to turn it into a abattoir, there is virtually nothing the police could realistically do to keep themselves from being slaughtered en masse.

It doesn't happen because people don't want to be killers, and would almost always prefer non-violence. Sure, there would absolutely be criminals who would use guns on cops, but that happens now with armed police.

I'm not saying that disarming the NYPD is a good idea at all, but doing so wouldn't turn the city into a lawless gunfight.
posted by quin at 2:36 PM on December 21, 2014 [13 favorites]


We have had violent, organized groups in this country whose sole mission has been (and remains) killing law enforcement officers. And yet the media right wingers ignore them at best or lionize them at worst. Cliven Bundy and his crew of jokers was only the most spectacularly stupid of recent examples. But the list is very long and tends to invoke names like militia, patriot, Aryan Brotherhood, sovereign citizen, and Christian Identity, not to mention good old kkk, ccc, and lone wolf types like Frein and many before him.

I have never noted a significant public condemnation of the virulent anti-cop rhetoric of those groups and movements, which are in dialogue enough with the modern GOP/Fox News establishment that those supposedly mainstream institutions go very light on the far right anti-cop sorts when they aren't euphemistically carrying their damn water.

So the hypocrisy stinks and that is because yes it has always been about race and cops have always prioritized protecting white people from minorities at the expense of countless innocents from minority communities.

And now whites are becoming a minority and sensing that this hegemony may be threatened at last. So when the law is an exercise of any sort of fairness, law enforcement officers become enemies of the right too.

I blame Bill O'Reilly and Roger Ailes for the LEO blood shed by Eric Frein. Makes just as much sense (nay, a good deal more) than blaming protests over Brown and Garner for these murders.

Hypocrisy has become the very currency of our politics, if it ever really wasn't.
posted by spitbull at 2:43 PM on December 21, 2014 [25 favorites]


Ain't that hard to get a warrant, tonycpsu. If it's really a firefight situation, then you initially retreat, call for a warrant and backup, let the adrenaline subside, give wiser strategists an opportunity to asses the situation, and move in as appropriate with proper attempts to avoid a gunfire and much better gear.

Aren't judges on duty in NY 24/7? Aren't there administrative warrants that don't even require a judge? It'd take maybeno time at all to get a temporary warrant through a judge once the process was streamlined.
posted by jeffburdges at 2:46 PM on December 21, 2014


I will bet--money to money, that deaths by firearms and the militarization of police is directly proportional to the private ownership of guns--particularly handguns and assault type weapons.

I'd hold off on that bet; according to Gallup, the number of households with guns in the US has dropped a bit (it varies year to year, but on the whole, it is trending down) whereas the militarization of police has only climbed since the War on Drugs started in the '80s, (aided by the military selling much of their surplus gear to law enforcement for pennies.)


I don't know if rmhsinc's hypothesis is true either (though I think it could very well be), but the Gallup poll cited there doesn't directly refute it.

Consider these data:

The average number of firearms owned, among those who own at least one, is actually about 8. That's a huge amount of weapons.

So even though the portion of the population that owns guns is shrinking, those who do have far more guns than they ever did before, and not at all coincidentally, guns sales indicate that there are more guns in circulation in the US than ever before -- best estimates currently indicate that there are about 300 million guns owned by civilians in the US.
posted by clockzero at 2:57 PM on December 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


I blame Daryl Gates ( and Ronald Reagan ) for turning the police into paramilitary occupation troops.

SWAT is the beginning of all this bullshit.
posted by mikelieman at 2:58 PM on December 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


This was an obvious outcome. When you remove nearly all political and nearly all judicial avenues for redress, someone somewhere will respond.

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable" - Some guy shot to death.

Just out of curiosity, what statement was he making by shooting his ex-girlfriend?

Felt no way for redress?

Do they do mental illness checks on police officers regularly?

Supposed to. In fact I am aware of a person rejected for the cops because they admitted to putting peanut butter on their genitals and let their dog lick that off.

Court OKs Barring High IQs for Cops
posted by rough ashlar at 3:03 PM on December 21, 2014 [6 favorites]


The mayor’s hands are literally dripping with our blood because of his words actions and policies and we have, for the first time in a number of years, become a "wartime" police department. We will act accordingly.

Oh Jesus God. Anyone who remembers the last time they did this should be fucking terrified now.

Were I the mayor, I'd suspend the NYPD and call in the National Guard.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:07 PM on December 21, 2014


I donno the NYPD's history that well, to what incident are you refering, DarlingBri?

San Francisco Cop Caught Choking a Sleeping Hospital Patient, then Falsely Arresting Him
posted by jeffburdges at 3:10 PM on December 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think that if a cop uses the word 'Civilian' they need to be immediately suspended pending psychological evaluation. Police are NOT THE MILITARY. The **ARE** Civilians, and that level of psychological dissociation is a clear and present danger to public safety.
posted by mikelieman at 3:16 PM on December 21, 2014 [49 favorites]


Yes, tonycpsu. Because right now, today, the number of armed citizens in NYC far outnumbers that of the police. If the population wanted to turn it into a abattoir, there is virtually nothing the police could realistically do to keep themselves from being slaughtered en masse.

We're not talking about a large-scale uprising kind of scenario here, we're talking about a cop's ability to defend himself one-on-one. My point is that you're never going to convince someone to take a job when they're unarmed and much of the rest of the population is armed (legally or illegally.) Far-fetched scenarios involving mass groups of citizens banding together to shoot all of the cops aren't really helping your argument.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:18 PM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


"and call in the National Guard.
posted by DarlingBri"

The mayor of NYC does not have that power.
He can ask the governor to.
posted by clavdivs at 3:20 PM on December 21, 2014


we're talking about a cop's ability to defend himself one-on-one

Hasn't it been shown that existing hiring, training, supervision, discipline, and termination practices are insufficient to ensure the responsible use of that capability? And if the choice is between a dead police officer and a dead person they've sworn to serve and protect, how is that calculus supposed to work out?
posted by mikelieman at 3:20 PM on December 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm not making an argument for them carrying on the merits -- what I'm saying is that it's foolish to believe we could get enough people to serve if they're unarmed and everyone else is armed.

Pro Tip: I'm on the "make sure everyone else isn't armed" side.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:22 PM on December 21, 2014


We have spent every day since Sept. 11 deifying the police, the military and the fire fighters; they have come to expect total obeisance. When someone disagrees with them, in even the mildest fashion, they choose to hear it as an attack. We have get the police, in particular, back under control and remind them that they are there for our safety, not their control.

And while we're at it, I recently watched a really long Law & Order marathon and was suprised, even though I've watched the series for decades, at how much violence by the police is accepted as legitimate. You know, because they're stressed and because the people they're assaulting or threatening with illegal enforcement actions, are always guilty, it's okay. Watching L&O dribble out a show at a time, I hadn't noticed it so much.
posted by etaoin at 3:22 PM on December 21, 2014 [11 favorites]


A few weeks ago I was speculating with my friends when we'd see the first person to claim self-defense in the assault or killing of a police officer. Citing the statistics on how likely they were to to be injured or killed if the police brought them in via that manner. They wouldn't win in a court of law and it would make things worse, but I do expect to see it eventually.

This is nothing like this, but on the other hand, I am not surprised something like this happened.
posted by Hactar at 3:25 PM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Given NYS's firearms laws, and NYC in particular, if you're not a cop and you're armed, you're breaking the law in the first place, right?

So, while "everyone" being armed is sorta hyperbolic, it also gets away from the core-issue, which is cops killing people and not even having to explain exactly why to a judge and jury.
posted by mikelieman at 3:25 PM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


clockzero: note that there is a radical difference in median and mean in the NIH report. Which means that there's a fat tail in the gun ownership distribution (only one tail in that distribution, can't have negative guns). Which means that there's a nonzero chance of some small concentration of people with like 10,000 guns or something. Food for thought.
posted by curuinor at 3:27 PM on December 21, 2014


We have spent every day since Sept. 11 deifying the police, the military and the fire fighters;

FDNY.

They should be deified.

FDNY are fucking heroes in the classical sense. That's probably why it offends me so much that NYPD tries to ride their coat-tails. And the military didn't do shit.
posted by mikelieman at 3:28 PM on December 21, 2014 [27 favorites]


Court OKs Barring High IQs for Cops

That's not a joke. Jesus.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:36 PM on December 21, 2014 [4 favorites]




FDNY are fucking heroes in the classical sense. That's probably why it offends me so much that NYPD tries to ride their coat-tails. And the military didn't do shit.

Nobody is a hero. That's a concept with no socially practical value and plenty of potential for manipulation and obfuscation. It's stupid to use the word "hero" if you want nice things to happen instead of shitty things.

Certain specific actions are highly laudable, and that's it. Given the amount of damage that mythologizing specific groups of people can do, you should point to some massive, concrete, tangible beneficial goal that is advanced by dropping the "h"-bomb before doing so. The benefit should be so large as to outweigh the world of shit that that sort of sentimentality very often serves to justify.

(Relatedly, tonycpsu's single-link "heartbreaking" comment above, and the story to which it links, are nothing but propaganda. They have no discursive value for the general public, who are supposed to be using the luxury of emotional distance from the situation to discuss systemic issues in a productive way.)
posted by busted_crayons at 3:38 PM on December 21, 2014 [12 favorites]


I live in an area that is covered almost entirely by volunteer departments. When 21 year olds who just joined the department start making claims about their own heroism, I'd say the worship has gone too far.
posted by etaoin at 3:38 PM on December 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


The increase is more attributable to the militarization of the police and the drug war. If you have a SWAT team and a MRAP you need to use them to justify having them, even if it means rolling a tank into grandma's charity poker game.

Or assaulting people who fall asleep in the bathtub.
posted by homunculus at 3:39 PM on December 21, 2014 [12 favorites]


My point is that you're never going to convince someone to take a job when they're unarmed and much of the rest of the population is armed (legally or illegally.)

I'm not so sure about that; the US is full of bouncers and security guards who are responsible for controlling (possibly armed) people while themselves unarmed.

There is also a wide range in which an officer could exist between armed with a gun and unarmed; batons, tazers, pepperballs, pepperspray. There are tons of less-than-lethal options.

I'm not saying I disagree with you either, I think there is a lot of value in considering this, I'm just suggesting that doing so wouldn't absolutely remove any and all candidates, nor would it necessarily immediately put officers at risk. Another option is to have guns available, but not carried; like in a lock box in the trunk of the cruiser, and if opened, there had better have been a good reason.

There are always alternatives to how we are now doing things, we just need the willpower to force them into being tried.
posted by quin at 3:42 PM on December 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


Given NYS's firearms laws, and NYC in particular, if you're not a cop and you're armed, you're breaking the law in the first place, right?

Even if it were that simple, which it's not, what's your point? The unarmed cop is in no position to deal with the unlawful gun carrier in this instance. The illegality of the gun doesn't render it inoperable. My point, very simply, is that cops are drawn from the population they serve, so taking away their means of protecting themselves from citizens who are carrying is going to make it much harder to get cops. The reason cops can be unarmed in the UK and other places is because those countries don't have a population that's so heavily-armed. If we get to that point, I'll happily suggest taking the guns away from the cops, but until then, such an idea is pure fantasy.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:42 PM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Another option is to have guns available, but not carried; like in a lock box in the trunk of the cruiser, and if opened, there had better have been a good reason.

No reason there can't be a shotgun in the patrol car. Just breaking the "get your gun out" training that precedes shooting people cause you're scared will go a long way to making cops safer.
posted by mikelieman at 3:46 PM on December 21, 2014


"Hayes Brown @hayesbrown
I'mma let Commander Adama explain why the "wartime police department" rhetoric in my last tweet is so troubling pic.twitter.com/i3PCXs6Pzm"
posted by blueberry at 3:47 PM on December 21, 2014 [13 favorites]


The unarmed cop is in no position to deal with the unlawful gun carrier in this instance.

How many times does someone with a 45 in their waistband actually pull it out? "Carrier" != "Threat", right? It might be, but just having an illegal gun doesn't mean you have any intent to kill anyone right then.
posted by mikelieman at 3:48 PM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


I donno the NYPD's history that well, to what incident are you refering, DarlingBri?

It's not an incident; it's an era. In the 1970's, cops were being shot in the city at an alarming rate; there actually was a war on cops. The department responded as described: 2 units at a time, on a triage basis, with routine arrests suspended.

What happens when there is no police response to petty crime is that it escalates. Subways were genuinely dangerous. Muggings were routine. You'd call the NYPD about a burglary and four cops would turn up two days later.

It took about 20 years to dig the city out from under that. By no means was the huge cluster fuck that was the city the fault of the NYPD, but there are long term effects when your police department either can't or won't serve and protect.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:50 PM on December 21, 2014 [16 favorites]


I'm not saying I disagree with you either, I think there is a lot of value in considering this, I'm just suggesting that doing so wouldn't absolutely remove any and all candidates, nor would it necessarily immediately put officers at risk. Another option is to have guns available, but not carried; like in a lock box in the trunk of the cruiser, and if opened, there had better have been a good reason.

I agree with some of your points, but the way it was pitched here was essentially take away the cops' guns and things get better, which isn't the case. Less guns all around will lead to better outcomes, and that includes eventually getting more of them out of the hands of police. We just have to do it on both sides of the citizen/law enforcement line.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:51 PM on December 21, 2014


Cant we find a way to talk about this tragedy without a political slugfest?

Not while the police union is taking the lead in ramping up incendiary, literally wartime, "it's us against them", rhetoric against ordinary citizens.

There's no room for legitimate debate when the police have decided that they're serving in Baghdad or Kandahar, rather than New York City.

The only solution is a purge in the ranks.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:56 PM on December 21, 2014 [18 favorites]


Tales from a time when the police had a somewhat different view of protesters.

Well, a certain kind of protesters.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:58 PM on December 21, 2014 [8 favorites]


"...call in the National Guard." posted by DarlingBri

"The mayor of NYC does not have that power. He can ask the governor to." posted by clavdivs


I don't believe he can unilaterally suspend the NYPD either. There would be intermediate steps required. I didn't feel the need to delineate them.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:01 PM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Isn't it weird that we know more about the killer in two days that we did about darren Wilson in a month?
posted by ShawnStruck at 4:07 PM on December 21, 2014 [44 favorites]


I don't know the story about why he killed his girlfriend, but when I was a younger man, if I'd made the kind of mistake that made me liable to life imprisonment or the death penalty, this would have been the first thing that would have occurred to me. Get some fucking payback. I certainly fantasized about it often enough. It wouldn't have mattered that the people I was killing hadn't abused me personally -- they were all part of the same gang, they all had each other's backs. They saw us as one amorphous mass, why the hell shouldn't we treat them in exactly the same way?

...You seem to have glossed over him killing his girlfriend awfully quickly in a rush to move on to talking about the cops. Do tell, what part of the "one amorphous mass" was SHE?

This wasn't a Political Blow Against The Man. This was a guy who shot his girlfriend and wanted a sure-fire way to commit Suicide By Cop. This was a cowardly man who committed a cowardly crime and took the coward's way out, and using it as proof that the NYPD is under siege is ludicrious.

--

Last night I was in the midst of getting ready for a holiday party and a guy from the PBA called to try to solicit from me. I just told him "this is a bad time, sorry" and hung up. Now I'm thinking I shouldn't have said anything and just hung up on him.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:11 PM on December 21, 2014 [9 favorites]


In fact, bouncers aren't event the best analogy, quin, since they're usually selected for size. Bouncers lack the effectively unlimited capacity for backup enjoyed by cops though.

It's perfectly normal for an unarmed small female cop in Europe to sort shit out, mostly because she's trained to talk to people, but.. If someone gives her shit, then she calls for backup rather than engage them physically. If the perp is armed, then said backup brings both guns and negotiators. Adrenaline should never be mixed with decisions about firearm use.
posted by jeffburdges at 4:15 PM on December 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


Great. That's just great. One guy decides he's got a score to settle with the cops, but the PBA has decided that the whole city — and by extension, given the police mindset, the whole nation — has to suffer. So instead of anyone taking seriously the notion that maybe police should stand trial and let a jury decide whether or not force was justified in any given case, now all we're going to get is black armbands and worse police work than what started the protests in the first place.

Every time I think the eschatostat is cranked as high as it will go, someone manages to turn it up another notch. It's really negatively impacting my serenity.
posted by ob1quixote at 4:21 PM on December 21, 2014 [14 favorites]


"I don't believe he can unilaterally suspend the NYPD either."

He has power over the police commish which gives vast powers over the police.To suspend the entire police force is not in the mayors power, because it is not rational.
posted by clavdivs at 4:28 PM on December 21, 2014


I am disappointed. I have been grateful that my Facebook feed is almost completely free of racists, as evidenced throughout the Ferguson and Eric Garner discussions. However, I just logged on to find that someone that I pretty much have always liked had reposted a twelve-paragraph essay beginning with something like "Imagine you're the 13-year old daughter" of one of the dead cops, looking at his present for you under the Christmas tree and knowing you have to attend his funeral, and then moving on to the newlywed spouse of the other out Christmas shopping and getting the call that he was about to die. I was choking up, until I got to the next paragraph, which said that anyone saying "hands up, don't shoot" or "I can't breathe" is "part of the problem" and professing disgust at the divisive politicization of cops just doing their job, while sidestepping the fact that that was exactly what this post was doing.

So discouraged. I doubt any progress can be made. I posted a long response, then reminded myself I'm trying to avoid having fights on Facebook and was probably walking into a hornet's nest. Just de-friend? I don't know. It doesn't really matter. I think what matters is saying very clearly that I refuse to be distracted from the issue of injustice by pitting this injustice against every other injustice, as if this one is reprehensible while the others are really just fine, and how dare anyone complain about them and become "part of the problem."
posted by Miko at 4:32 PM on December 21, 2014 [23 favorites]


I propose we stop calling the NY police union (and others with the same sort of name) away from PBA to PMA... Patrolmen's (they're not just racists, they're sexist to boot!) Malevolent Union.

Seriously Wartime Police? Shit's coming to a head. Look at Scott Walker in Wisconsin, exempting the police unions from the anti-union laws he was putting into place (thankfully our local department supported the protestors, here... even though they have problems of their own, lately)... There's clearly a strong right-wing authoritarian streak just pent up and ready to be let out of the gate. How the fuck do you even begin to defuse this fucking timebomb?
posted by symbioid at 4:46 PM on December 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


You seem to have glossed over him killing his girlfriend awfully quickly in a rush to move on to talking about the cops.

I think PeterMcDermott's point here is that, given that the killer had just done something monumentally evil, his killing of the cops is a rational next move. This is arguing against the chorus of people who are saying the killer is mentally ill, presumably because they don't understand quite how lethal a combination short-sightedness, aggression and narcissism is, or at least don't care to distinguish between this and delusional or disordered thinking (or any of the other things that separate mental illness from criminality). It's a big weakness Metafilter has, because the toolbox for creating a less violent society is pretty much unrelated to the toolbox for safeguarding the public from people with mental illness.
posted by ambrosen at 4:49 PM on December 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


Fuck. Is Giuliani going to run again? Looking back at that 1992 article posted above, it just hit me... Instead of "tough on terror 911" he'll be "tough on 'crime', pro-police" -- and it'll be dogwhistles all the way to the White House.
posted by symbioid at 4:55 PM on December 21, 2014 [6 favorites]


The Republicans are almost certainly going to run some kind of Angry Daddy in 2016.
posted by thelonius at 4:59 PM on December 21, 2014 [15 favorites]


"he Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, has blamed Mayor de Blasio for the murders"

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I was informed that the murderer actually killed themselves already.
posted by GoblinHoney at 5:05 PM on December 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


"Evil" does not have a logical response to events. It has a pathalogical response to events.
posted by clavdivs at 5:08 PM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


With respect to the Law & Order comment above, I've been dipping my toe into an astonishingly terrible Australian police drama (the name of which escapes me) on Hulu. The entire premise of the program is that it's about a unit that's meant to de-escalate situations. Now there's a program that would never be made in the US. (I have no idea whether it's plausible for Australia, but it's so far from plausible here that it'd never get made and we're talking about a television industry that thinks the premise of Criminal Minds isn't too silly to contemplate.)
posted by hoyland at 5:11 PM on December 21, 2014


DarlingBri, not to derail, but do you have a source for that "war on cops" in the 70s? I remember the trash strike, police corruption (Serpico, etal), and municipal bankruptcy, as well as "Barney Miller", and a broke-down subway. I remember cops getting laid off... I do not remember cops getting murdered by the dozens. (And your link focuses almost entirely on drugs and prostitution, if I read it properly.)

I ask only because historical events can be read in so many ways... this seems important.

Thx!
posted by allthinky at 5:15 PM on December 21, 2014


Remember when two white, right wing, Cliven Bundy linked psychos assassinated two cops, and how Rudy Guliani, Bill Kristol and all of FOX News immediately called for collective punishment of gun rights and tea party activists, like they're now calling for the collective punishment of Garner/Brown protesters? You don't because they didn't, it was swept under the rug and disavowed rather than made into a talking points campaign, because there was no way to spin it against Obama and liberals everywhere.

It's all about race and the politics of fear, embodied by the Republican Party and FOX on the national level, and on a local level by police unions and individual officers who listen to the propaganda from the national sources as well as local talk radio and their bosses all day, every day.

Whatever the perpetrator thought he would accomplish in death by taking down innocent officers along with him, will have the opposite effect, giving more ammunition to the nascent right wing police state in waiting.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:21 PM on December 21, 2014 [27 favorites]


It's not an incident; it's an era.

There's nothing in that link about murders of police during that era (which seems to span 1970-1984, at least). I suspect the police union shouters are indeed referencing a somewhat more specific period when they were on "wartime" footing and only making arrests when absolutely necessary. If anyone can offer any further insight into that, I'm sure it would be appreciared.
posted by mediareport at 5:29 PM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


This short Newsday article refers to the "war on cops" in NYC in the 1970's.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 5:36 PM on December 21, 2014


http://www.odmp.org/agency/2758-new-york-city-police-department-new-york
posted by mikelieman at 5:40 PM on December 21, 2014


Perhaps the memo also looks back to the 1964 Harlem riots
posted by thelonius at 5:42 PM on December 21, 2014


allthinky, again, it was a different era and I'm sure you can find better (or even refuting) sources, but the BLA campaign against officers was commonly called a war on cops in the press, though I'm unclear if the BLA officially made that declaration.

Also, just for sake of clarity, I didn't say they were being murdered by the dozen -- but they were being wounded by the dozen: 30NYPD officers in 1971, 7 dead.
posted by DarlingBri at 5:42 PM on December 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


I was thinking about this a while back, and I got to wondering (purely as an intellectual exercise, because, as we've established, cops guns aren't going anywhere), but I wonder if the police were limited to less-than-lethal weapons, if we'd see a significant decrease in the use of those as compliance tools.

We know that right now, the police are more than happy to taze someone who isn't obeying their explicit orders, or aren't obeying them fast enough, or just look like they might not obey. But, would they be so fast to pull that electric trigger if they didn't have a firearm to back them up? Or would they be forced to learn to use diplomacy much as other police departments around the world find themselves utilizing as a primary tool.

Again, I don't think we'll ever know, but it's an interesting question to wonder about.
posted by quin at 5:44 PM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Diplomacy lol.

NYPD were breaking skulls with saps and nightsticks before they carried firearms. They will never cede the controlling use of violence.
posted by spitbull at 5:48 PM on December 21, 2014 [2 favorites]




Or would they be forced to learn to use diplomacy much as other police departments around the world find themselves utilizing as a primary tool.

There are lots of places where the cops carry firearms but are less assholish than US cops.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:59 PM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


'I have this pet theory that the pervasive approach to crime procedurals on TV in this country warps the perception of real police. Aside from The Shield I can't think of a TV program that does anything other than treat police (especially NYPD) as heroes...'

Easy one: 'The Wire.' And I would argue that workaday shows like the 'Law and Order' franchise, which features alcoholics and violence-haunted boundary-pushers and shit, as well as shows like 'Justified,' 'Homicide,' 'The Commish' and 'Barney Miller,' all of which show police work as, to a greater or lesser degree, just another job, do a good job of showing the moral ambiguity and wide variety of motivations typical in police, and any other kind of, work.

(Forgive me--this is a lengthy response to a barely-related comment. But I like police procedurals, and I would rather think about them than about this thing.)
posted by box at 6:04 PM on December 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


Previous commenters have touched on this and I may have missed others as the thread is moving pretty quickly, but as horrible as this crime is, the response has been quite telling. For years, the NRA and Tea Party types have been railing against government tyranny (now where did they get that idea?). Supporters of a racist, freeloading "rancher" (actual ranchers own the land their cattle despoil) drew guns on federal, state, and local law enforcement officers with no apparent consequences; two of their number went on to execute police officers in cold blood in Las Vegas. A few months later a former Eagle Scout guns down two Pennsylvania state troopers as if he were hunting a trophy buck. Yet none of that has resulted in anything approaching the outcry that this latest crime has. I can't figure out the difference; it must be really subtle.
posted by TedW at 6:08 PM on December 21, 2014 [32 favorites]


The Subtle difference is do not kill policemen
.
posted by clavdivs at 6:15 PM on December 21, 2014


not to derail, but do you have a source for that "war on cops" in the 70s?

I think people are referring to this (subscription only) article.

7 police killed by gunfire is remarkable for one year. We'll see how 2015 goes but I think this recent sad incident is probably an anomaly and not a sign of a renewed 'war' against the police.
posted by dis_integration at 6:18 PM on December 21, 2014


$ links -dump 'http://www.odmp.org/agency/2758-new-york-city-police-department-new-york' | grep EOW | cut -d':' -f2- | awk -e '{print $4}' | sed -e '/BR//' | sort | uniq -c | sort -nr > a.a

$ grep 19[67] a.a
15 1971
11 1970
11 1968
10 1967
8 1977
8 1975
8 1966
8 1963
7 1979
7 1974
7 1973
7 1972
7 1964
6 1978
5 1969
5 1962
5 1960
4 1961
3 1976
3 1965



posted by mikelieman at 6:18 PM on December 21, 2014 [9 favorites]


7 police killed by gunfire is remarkable for one year.


7 2010
7 1988
7 1979
7 1974
7 1973
7 1972
7 1964
7 1935
7 1914
7 1913

posted by mikelieman at 6:20 PM on December 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


Easy one: 'The Wire.'

What? Herc and Carver commit police brutality, and pull other fucked-up shit, routinely, and are basically sympathetic characters. Greggs gets shot, and the timing and treatment of that shooting marks it as obviously playing on audience sympathies that the show has already worked to develop, while, say, the deaths of Stinkum, or Cheese, have much less emotional impact, because those characters have not been humanized to the extent that the cop characters have. I liked "The Wire", too, and its police hagiography was somewhat more nuanced than the usual cop-show fare, and I'm sure Simon's criticism of the War on Some Drugs is made in good faith, but "The Wire" is firmly part of a genre that mythologizes the police in the public mind.

(All of this should also probably be considered in light of Simon's blog's NSA apologia following the Snowden revelations. A Civil Liberties Crusader that man ain't.)
posted by busted_crayons at 6:21 PM on December 21, 2014 [8 favorites]


Well, 7 police killed by May 23, 1971, when that article was published.

But it's not surprising. That's precisely in the Serpico era, and police corruption that endemic has to cause a lot more violence against the cops. When the police are taxing your drug trade and shaking you down, they become just another criminal element and fair game. I don't have any evidence that the murdered police from there were often corrupt, but I have a feeling that research would confirm that suspicion.
posted by dis_integration at 6:23 PM on December 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


Great. That's just great. One guy decides he's got a score to settle with the cops, but the PBA has decided that the whole city — and by extension, given the police mindset, the whole nation — has to suffer.

Collective punishment is a war crime by the standards of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The NYPD and their rotten union better start watching their fucking mouths.
posted by clockzero at 6:23 PM on December 21, 2014 [11 favorites]


For the television analogy folks, I suggest "Toma". I know he worked primarily in Jersey but Dave is one of the most respected officers to serve in modern times.
posted by clavdivs at 6:26 PM on December 21, 2014


I wonder how many of those New York City cops were shot because their corrupt colleagues let it happen. Apparently the NYC police bear grudges for decades. The police union there is out of control; as much as I dislike Reagan, perhaps the mayor needs to go all PATCO on them after this blows over.
posted by TedW at 6:27 PM on December 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


TedW: "I can't figure out the difference; it must be really subtle."

One obvious difference is this one happened in "the centre of the universe" of the US rather than out in the sticks.
posted by Mitheral at 6:30 PM on December 21, 2014


Some of those killed might have been the few "Good Cops".

Frank Serpico on NY's finest,
"My “backup” was nowhere in sight. They hadn’t even called for assistance—I never heard the famed “Code 1013,” meaning “Officer Down.” They didn’t call an ambulance either, I later learned; the old man did. One patrol car responded to investigate, and realizing I was a narcotics officer rushed me to a nearby hospital (one of the officers who drove me that night said, “If I knew it was him, I would have left him there to bleed to death,” I learned later)."
posted by mikelieman at 6:32 PM on December 21, 2014 [9 favorites]


Also mikelieman that bash magic doesn't seem to separate among causes of death. All death is tragic, but homicide is what matters when it comes to a war on the cops.
posted by dis_integration at 6:34 PM on December 21, 2014


For purposes of discussion ( and being lazy enough to not want to write a perl script to parse out the causes of death ) I figure those numbers are close enough to be useful in this context. Even if we use those numbers, known to be high, the number of officer deaths compared to deaths caused by police is still alarming.
posted by mikelieman at 6:39 PM on December 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


One obvious difference is this one happened in "the centre of the universe" of the US rather than out in the sticks.

The "centre of the universe" for effete liberals, perhaps; many of the right-wing cop-killers (and wannabe cop-killers) out there still long for Richmond, Virginia as their mother city.
posted by TedW at 6:40 PM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Damn you all to hell


grep Cause: raw.txt | sort | uniq -c | sort -nr
324 Cause: Gunfire
58 Cause: 9/11 related illness
53 Cause: Automobile accident
45 Cause: Heart attack
38 Cause: Struck by vehicle
36 Cause: Motorcycle accident
32 Cause: Assault
24 Cause: Terrorist attack
24 Cause: Stabbed
24 Cause: Gunfire (Accidental)
20 Cause: Vehicular assault
18 Cause: Animal related
16 Cause: Fire
12 Cause: Vehicle pursuit
12 Cause: Drowned
11 Cause: Fall
10 Cause: Duty related illness
9 Cause: Accidental
8 Cause: Explosion
7 Cause: Struck by streetcar
7 Cause: Aircraft accident
5 Cause: Struck by train
5 Cause: Electrocuted
5 Cause: Boating accident
4 Cause: Bicycle accident
3 Cause: Structure collapse
3 Cause: Exposure to toxins
2 Cause: Bomb
1 Cause: Exposure

posted by mikelieman at 6:47 PM on December 21, 2014 [15 favorites]


the response has been quite telling. ... I can't figure out the difference;

One of the locations has been anti-gun for years and has a media environment reflecting "NIMBY Guns are bad" (fewer people overall in the US of A seem to have problems with US sponsored guns being pointed at others outside of the US of A with the same passion they don't like guns if they are within the US of A or their own back yard) and the other locations have a %age of the population who use guns as a way to alter local 4-legged mammal populations. Hopefully that helps you figure out some of the difference.

As for "the response" - using media to control what the population thinks has been the name of the game for as long as Humans have had language. Just before and during WWII use of language in a mass way was called Propaganda and afterwords it was rebranded "Public Relations". "The Response" is, errrr, 'media management' to forward one agenda or another. Here on The Blue the vocal posters from NY State or NYC are going to have a different position WRT guns than others or even non-US posters. If there was not the public instagram posting - would there even be this discussion here?

Dead/injured enforcement people happen - but it is rare so far to have the person/people doing the injuring to have made public the intent to injure/kill. If the 'mentally ill' POV is correct, it will remain rare.

The NYPD and their rotten union better start watching their fucking mouths.

Ha! The US Courts don't consider international law. Imagine the health care discussion if the UN position on Human Rights was able to be in legal play.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:02 PM on December 21, 2014


Okay, I took the 20 minutes to whip up some python to make this spreadsheet of NYPD line of duty deaths.
posted by dis_integration at 7:13 PM on December 21, 2014 [12 favorites]


(Tips hat) nice work dis_integration.
posted by clavdivs at 7:22 PM on December 21, 2014


The first thing I can conclude is that between 1960 and 1979 there were 75 gunfire deaths, 52 of those between 1970 and 1979, compared to only 21 between 1995 and 2014. The 60s and 70s really were a (relatively) brutal time to be an NYC police.
posted by dis_integration at 7:33 PM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]




I have this pet theory that the pervasive approach to crime procedurals on TV in this country warps the perception of real police.

I watched the last episode of Elementry, which was about a cop being shot. I couldn't help noticing how much it felt like propaganda. I've thought it other times, but not quite as intensely as the mythological last call scene. (How strangely prescient the ep was too). Maybe it was the climate lately that had me thinking that way, but it felt like a shift from "hey, the cops need us because we're smarter than the cops." to something more complicit.

And I always always wince when I'm any show the outside consultant can violate privacy laws because they're not part of the police. I don't know how it works in the real world. I'd guess it's murky, at best.

But on the whole, I've watched four police "procedurals" in the past decade, so perhaps I haven't been fully indoctrinated.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 7:43 PM on December 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


Since I got on this kick, here's a chart: why not?.
posted by dis_integration at 7:57 PM on December 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


From Al Pacino in Conversation with Lawrence Grobel, in the section discussing Frank Serpico:
"One time we were out at my rented beach house in Montauk. We were sitting there looking at the water. And I thought, Well, I might as well be like everybody else and ask a silly question, which was, 'Why, Frank? Why did you do it?' He said 'Well, Al, I don't know. I guess I have to say it would be because . . . if I didn't, who would I be when I listened to a piece of music?"
posted by sallybrown at 8:07 PM on December 21, 2014 [20 favorites]


Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: The Police Aren’t Under Attack. Institutionalized Racism Is.

(He rides the "crazy" train, but otherwise the piece is solid.)
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 9:56 PM on December 21, 2014 [2 favorites]




Who incited Eric Frein, a white right wing terrorist, to shoot two Pennsylvania troopers?

He was white, its all good.
posted by hal_c_on at 10:14 PM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Re "mental illness" -- History of violence and use of alcohol are way way more predictive of violence, gun violence, than is psychiatric diagnosis. The predictive relationship between psychiatric diagnosis and violence is very very small, and is only detectable with co-occurring substance use.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 10:25 PM on December 21, 2014 [7 favorites]


I wish there was more information available about Officers Wen Jian Liu and Rafael Ramos. Their lives should be honored and remembered right now, and should be put well before those of the shooter or any city official. Hopefully, detailed obits will be written in the coming days. Ramos's family did hold a press conference earlier today in which they called for "New Yorkers and police to come together 'so that we can move forward and find an amicable path to a peaceful coexistence.'" It's a pretty amazing thing for them to do even in the midst of their grief.

What t-shirts and stances will NBA and NFL players do today? Anything?

I can't tell if you're asking rhetorically or not, but ESPN has a rundown of the Giants, Jets, and Nets tributes here.

There's a war going on and it's the cops who are fighting it.

Unfortunately, the NYPD seems to think they're at war not with despicable cop killers or a Baltimore-based prison gang, but the people of the city of New York. That's what has so many of us shocked and saddened and terrified: that at a time when we should be working together against violence and injustice in all of its forms—whether the victims or perpetrators are civilians or officers—the PBA and many officers see this as a matter of us-versus-them. And we're the them.

My hope is that the PBA statement was just a heat of the moment thing

Nope. Pat Lynch has a long and disgraceful history of making inflammatory statements at the worst of times. People (sometimes rightly) like to criticize Al Sharpton for being divisive and cooping tragedies for his own self-aggrandizement. Lynch does that and more. He's a bully at best, and he's been fanning the flames of conflict for weeks (to borrow a term from Metafilter, previously). Notice how Lynch's statements have already taken attention away from the slain officers and focused it squarely on him, instead. That's the kind of representation he offers.

Both of my parents belonged to unions. I am unabashedly pro-union. That said, Lynch and his colleagues are a dangerous disgrace, and their members deserve better. If you want an idea of just how monumentally fucked up the city's police and corrections unions are, this recent NYT article about one of Lynch's colleagues, the head of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association, should do it. There are good cops and corrections officers out there. I can't imagine their jobs are made easier by the cover-your-ass, circle-the-wagons grandstanding of the men who are supposed to represent them.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 10:30 PM on December 21, 2014 [18 favorites]


I have a question: how difficult is it for a union, specifically a police union, specifically the NYPD police union to remove a sitting union head?

The thing is Lynch is elected (right?) into his position; and it's fair for people to place the blame on the members of the union for continuing to have him represent them.

Unlike some folks (on the left and the right) that purport to represent their communities (and may or may not), the head of the PBA does represent his community (of police officers).

I think it is reasonable for the public at large to assume that the head of the PBA does represent police officers in their city. And that should terrify them.
posted by el io at 11:31 PM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


I need therapy. Even though dis-integration finished hours earlier, *I* needed to try and get past a gnuplot issue.

And even though I'm calling it a night and considering it done, I'm not really happy still that I couldn't get the x-axis labels to honor the printf format string like I wanted.

Anyway, NYPD Deaths by Assault, Gunfire, and Stabbing from 1960 - 2014

Hey, dis-, you're in town, we should do lunch someday.
posted by mikelieman at 11:40 PM on December 21, 2014 [9 favorites]


The thing is Lynch is elected (right?) into his position

He is. And you're right. Lynch's multiple reelections (he's on his fourth term) are utterly dismaying.

His grandstanding and fearmongering are pretty clearly designed to secure his grip on power. Lynch's message to the rank and file is that the entire world is against them, and that danger lurks around every corner, and that at the end of the day, he's the only friend they can trust.

He's like the NYPD's emotionally abusive boyfriend.

Plus, he's not just defending police with his incendiary statements. Lynch is campaigning—consequences be damed. The guy is up for reelection next year.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 12:08 AM on December 22, 2014 [6 favorites]


There are always alternatives to how we are now doing things

British police deal with a mad man with a machete.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:32 AM on December 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


Sometimes they send the bad apples to jail too.
Well, dumb-as-a-box-of-hair apples.
posted by fullerine at 1:33 AM on December 22, 2014


An eye for an eye leaves everybody blind.

Yeah, but if they police are routinely blinding us anyway, then why not at least level the playing field? Maybe the solution is to have the police stop shooting people in the eye to begin with.

My point is that you're never going to convince someone to take a job when they're unarmed and much of the rest of the population is armed (legally or illegally.)

Experience in the UK and New Zealand suggests otherwise (the latter doesn't require any sort of license for many firearms, the former has strict restrictions but many guns in circulation anyway). And as has been pointed out, it's not like NY/NYC has particularly few restrictions on gun ownership/carry. And finally, quoting for truth:

I'm not so sure about that; the US is full of bouncers and security guards who are responsible for controlling (possibly armed) people while themselves unarmed.

'We have to give police guns or nobody would be police!' is a terrible and false argument. Furthermore, I'd personally be happy to see the resignation of any officer who would not want to be police if they didn't get to carry. If having a gun is that important to you, you should not be police.
posted by Dysk at 2:23 AM on December 22, 2014 [4 favorites]


"Experience in the UK and New Zealand suggests otherwise (the latter doesn't require any sort of license for many firearms, the former has strict restrictions but many guns in circulation anyway)"--Certainly seems to be at odds with the facts as there is a 6 step process in New Zealand for owning a firearm. And comparing NZ or even the UK to the US is a stretch, a very big stretch, in terms of the personal ownership of handguns and firearms. I have a passionate disdain for the ownership of any firearm except traditional long rifles and shotguns and actively support licensing, registration etc--I would not be a peace officer in the US without a firearm. It is not any more a false argument than comparing NZ to the US.
posted by rmhsinc at 4:20 AM on December 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


It would be interesting to see if this leads to meaningful gun ownership laws in the United States.

This incident likely wasn't a planned, political act, but the next one might. A few deliberate, organized attempts against police officers might be enough to bring about the one effective opposition to the NRA - police unions. Pit those two on opposite sides of the issue, and one of them breaks. And while I'd never underestimate the ability of the NRA, on this one I'd bet they wouldn't win.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 5:20 AM on December 22, 2014


It would be interesting to see if this leads to meaningful gun ownership laws in the United States.

It absolutely will not. The NRA and the police unions aren't gonna fight it, not that way, anyway. We're all going to keep shooting at each other until every last one of us is dead.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:25 AM on December 22, 2014 [7 favorites]




I'm not so sure about that; the US is full of bouncers and security guards who are responsible for controlling (possibly armed) people while themselves unarmed.

This is a really bad example of evidence for how cops could work without guns in the USA. Is the bouncer going to arrest you? Is the bouncer going to find the stash of heroine in your car which sends you to jail for 15 years? There is a reason that some dangerous people resort to violence when confronted by police but not when confronted by a bouncer. Bouncers play a very low stakes game of "you can't drink here anymore". Police are playing a very different high stakes game.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 6:08 AM on December 22, 2014 [4 favorites]


allthinky: " I remember the trash strike, police corruption (Serpico, etal), and municipal bankruptcy, as well as "Barney Miller", and a broke-down subway. I remember cops getting laid off.."

Speaking of cops and remembering...

The police is the klan is the mafia and they're out for me, and soon they're going to be out to get you, so you better get going if you know it's good for you and take your stand. (SLYT)
posted by symbioid at 7:31 AM on December 22, 2014


PeterMcDermott: "There are always alternatives to how we are now doing things

British police deal with a mad man with a machete.
"

Too many cooks.
posted by symbioid at 7:40 AM on December 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


I wish there was more information available about Officers Wen Jian Liu and Rafael Ramos.
Here is an Instagram post about Officer Ramos, and his youth as an East Village tagger:
"I just found out one of the officers senselessly ambushed and murdered was a Latino of the culture who wrote POTE BBK, ran in the Vill (East Village) back in the days and had most likely grown up to become a family man, a father and responsible community resident taking a job on the force, while maintaining his love of ‪#‎GrafArt‬... If anyone could've been a part of bridging this divide between the streets and law enforcement I'm sure Officer Ramos (POTE) would've been uniquely qualified in working towards an easing of that divide..."
Some of his work is displayed in the linked post.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 8:00 AM on December 22, 2014 [7 favorites]


Rudy Guiliani Knows Exactly How To Spark A Police Riot -- Because He Did It Before In 1992 the PBA held a violent rally, causing more damage than the Eric Garner protests, assaulting journalists, fanned from the sidelines by Guiliani.

What we're they rioting over? A proposal for a civilian review board and the Mayor Dinkins's refusal to authorize more semiautomatic weapons.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:10 AM on December 22, 2014 [4 favorites]






Explain to me again why there should there be police unions?

I mean, I get that cops, like any employee, can be subject to management abuses such as discrimination, safety violations, harassment, economic inequity, and arbitrary reassignments.

But it gets tricky, I think, when you consider how it works in practice. Consider firings and suspensions: no one wants these to be capricious or unfair. Employees should have due process rights when it comes to losing their jobs or substantive changes in the conditions of their employment. But what level of due process should an officer involved in shooting an unarmed civilian have? Should they be treated as a criminal suspect would be treated? Instead of asking this question with relation to the human rights of the person shot, we ask this question with relation to the employment rights of the person doing the shooting. And the results are on display.

In particular, I worry that a police union creates the following conflict: the conditions of a police officers employment include the civil rights of those policed. So a union transforms human rights into matters to be negotiated contractually. Things like white supremacy are partly expressed through the police and how police departments are run, so I think they're inextricable from the general tendency to grant police an overwhelming amount of impunity, which they have partly gained through labor negotiations.

Ultimately whether or not a civilian's death is charged as manslaughter ends up being a question of the employment conditions of the officer who shot or choked him to death: what the department trained him to do, whether restricting the use of a weapon or chokehold is a legitimate regulation of employee behavior, and how to punish infractions of regulations. But along the way, it matters that unionized police officers are always represented by their union reps during interrogations, that those union reps have smaller case loads than the average public defender, and that police have massively overlapping legal and epistemic privileges in courts and proceedings against them.
posted by anotherpanacea at 8:25 AM on December 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


Too many cooks.

Sure. Nobody gets shot though. If that was the USA, my guess is that that guy would be dead. If they'll kill Eric Garner for fuck all, how do they deal with a madman wielding a machete?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:26 AM on December 22, 2014


If that was the USA, my guess is that that guy would be dead. If they'll kill Eric Garner for fuck all, how do they deal with a madman wielding a machete?

Exactly how you'd expect.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:32 AM on December 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Not sure, PeterMcDermott, if you know the reference or not (though I realized after I posted it, that it could be seen as "too many cops"). It wasn't my intent, but that said, I do agree with you - better 10...20 cops taking down a machete wielding person peacefully and without injury than a few beating the hell or shooting someone.

For reference, Too Many Cooks...
posted by symbioid at 8:33 AM on December 22, 2014




If they'll kill Eric Garner for fuck all, how do they deal with a madman wielding a machete?

They shoot him if he comes closer than 21 feet.
posted by Talez at 8:35 AM on December 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


T.D. Strange: " If that was the USA, my guess is that that guy would be dead. If they'll kill Eric Garner for fuck all, how do they deal with a madman wielding a machete?

Exactly how you'd expect.
"

And don't forget John T. Williams, killed for walking across the street with a small carving knife, minding his own business. SLYT

Further context says : "Williams was killed in an Aug. 30, 2010, police shooting ruled unjustified by the Police Department's Firearms Review Board. Birk, resigned Feb. 16 after King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg announced charges would not be filed in the incident. "

Williams' estate received a 1.5 million award from the city, and the Mayor even declared a day in honor of him. So I guess there was some sense of justice, slightly. Except for, you know, actual Justice in the legal sense.
posted by symbioid at 8:36 AM on December 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


It's endlessly depressing what a vapid windbag Ta-Neshi Coates has become in his perch, when he's needed more than ever. Connor Friesdorf is writing the more useful piece.
Notably, none of these intellectually dishonest statements quote or link to any actual rhetoric spoken by Mayor de Blasio, Eric Holder, or President Obama. That is because none of them has uttered so much as a single word that even hints that violently attacking a police officer, let alone murdering one, would be justified. Suggesting that their words are responsible for this murder is discrediting. Even the weaker claim that their words "embolden criminals" is absurd, both as a matter of logic and as a statement made amid historically low crime rates.

With regard to the particular crime of killing police officers, "the number of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty—that is, killed with felonious intent by a suspected criminal—plummeted to 27 in 2013, its lowest level in decades." That is the Obama/Holder record on this issue. We needn't speculate about whether their rhetoric has proved dangerous for police. We know that it has not.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 8:46 AM on December 22, 2014 [10 favorites]


I actually really liked the Coates piece.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:49 AM on December 22, 2014 [9 favorites]


Irony here is a few days ago, there was a meme going around on twitter and Facebook that said something like: "Sony gets hacked and the president threatens retaliation. A black man dies and he says, 'Calm down.'" So a few days ago, Obama was doing nothing, now he is an instigator of a race riot.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:57 AM on December 22, 2014 [1 favorite]




So a few days ago, Obama was doing nothing, now he is an instigator of a race riot.

The right-wingers have never had problems referring to Obama as either a feckless layabout or a ruthless despot depending on what the situation calls for. Intellectual consistency is totally optional.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:09 AM on December 22, 2014 [14 favorites]


I like both the Friedersdorf piece for its debunking the police union's claims and the Coates piece for its observation that police reform is difficult because the policies and behaviors in need of reform often have the majority's active and tacit endorsement. There's no need to pit one against the other.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:21 AM on December 22, 2014 [11 favorites]


That Friesdorf piece is really good, with a lot of sharp, clear, useful observations worth passing around, as well as a link to this from Doug Mataconis at Outside the Beltway:

"Politically, DeBlasio may or may not have bungled his relationship with the NYPD during his first year in office, but that hardly makes him responsible for murder. Additionally, the fact that the Mayor may have expressed some sympathy for the people who were protesting the Garner decision is neither outrageous nor inappropriate. For one thing, it’s worth noting that he is the Mayor of all the people in New York, not just the police officers, and that as the elected leader of the city it is his job, in part, to be responsive to the concerns of civilians who see what they think is an injustice being committed by the police department and the justice system. The argument that being willing to listen to those protesters makes any political leader responsible for the actions of a violent criminal thug who traveled some 200 miles for the express purpose of committing murder is nonsense that ought to be rejected out of hand."
posted by mediareport at 9:30 AM on December 22, 2014 [4 favorites]


tonycpsu: "The right-wingers have never had problems referring to Obama as either a feckless layabout or a ruthless despot depending on what the situation calls for. Intellectual consistency is totally optional."

It's actually similar to how they treated the Soviet Union/Communism.

1) It's totally ruthless and efficient, it's going to take over the world and destroy us all!
2) It's incompetent and can't compete with the mighty efficiency of Capitalist markets.

That way it's win/win (or lose/lose, depending on perspective, I guess).
posted by symbioid at 9:31 AM on December 22, 2014 [3 favorites]






He's lost the support of some of them? They can vote for someone else next election. Or resign.
posted by thelonius at 9:55 AM on December 22, 2014 [7 favorites]




Unlike 8 other civil service unions, the PBA labor agreement is likely to end up in binding arbitration.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:57 AM on December 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


The NYT article on Norman Seabrook of the NYC Corrections officers union has nothing whatsoever to do with the NYPD PBA. For shame, evidenceofabsence, for suggesting otherwise.
posted by mlis at 11:10 AM on December 22, 2014


See, I spend a lot of time on various cop abuse sites, like photographyisnotacrim.com and freethoughtproject.com and one of the comments that always made whenever one of these guys shoots a dog or homeless person or no-knock warrants the wrong house or tases the mentally ill or pepper sprays a college student peaceably protesting is, "Don't call a cop next time your wife is being raped or you are being killed," and I always think, "Man, I would have to be in complete desperation to call a cop." It really would take something that made me fear for my personal safety. I'm starting to come to the conclusion we really would be better off without police at all. Rapes and murders are fairly rare, but the police aren't there to prevent these. They are there to investigate after the fact. Sure, they may stop something on occasion, but I bet the vast majority of the time they are brought in after someone is already a victim.

I am a white male living in small(ish) town Iowa, so I have it fairly easy, and maybe these stories of abuse have tainted my view of the world, but I am honestly more afraid of the police than I am a robber, raper, or terrorist. I realize there's a lot of privilege wrapped up in that last sentence, so I can't imagine not being white or not being male and having to be in a position where I needed a cop.

I honestly expect to go my whole life without worry about actually needing to intact with a cop.

Full disclosure: My best friend is a state patrol, my brother-in-law's brother is a sherif (jailer), my step brother is a cop, and my half brother's uncle is a chief of police. I would still think long and hard about calling a cop if I needed one.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:20 AM on December 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


The NYT article on Norman Seabrook of the NYC Corrections officers union has nothing whatsoever to do with the NYPD PBA.

What? evidenceofabsence said: "If you want an idea of just how monumentally fucked up the city's police and corrections unions are, this recent NYT article about one of Lynch's colleagues, the head of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association, should do it."

There's absolutely nothing problematic about lumping corrections and policing together, since cops and guards both suffer from the same problem: their conditions of employment are made more difficult by the civil and human rights of others, and their jobs involve using sometimes lethal force. So the state of their unions is pretty relevant and comparable.
posted by anotherpanacea at 11:21 AM on December 22, 2014 [5 favorites]


Fox is now airing an analysis of Sharpton's funding for his National Action Network, calling out MSNBC and Comcast -- then making sure to juxtapose that with coverage of slain police officers. They are seriously pointing a hair dryer at the charcoal.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 11:31 AM on December 22, 2014 [3 favorites]




The NYT article on Norman Seabrook of the NYC Corrections officers union has nothing whatsoever to do with the NYPD PBA. For shame, evidenceofabsence, for suggesting otherwise.

I clearly cited the article as being about the corrections union.

I don't think it's at all out of line to suggest that the city's law enforcement unions have a shared culture of divisiveness, disdain for the public (and, sometimes, the law), and my-child-right-or-wrong grandstanding.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 12:09 PM on December 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


Meanwhile.

Bernie Kerik: "War Is Being Waged on Our Homeland"

No, this war is of our own making. It is a war on law and order. It is a war on what keeps our communities safe. It is a war on cops who live to protect those they serve...What is worst of all is that this war is built on a lie...Our nation’s police are not at war on blacks or Hispanics or poor neighborhoods...It’s a lie! It’s a lie that has inflamed the hearts and minds of many and turned them against every cop in the nation. It’s a lie that has the potential to rip America at its seams and cause damage far worse than any attack on our country, including that on 9/11/2001...If this lie and the behaviors it incites continue, America will look more like a wasteland than the greatest country in the world in just a few short years. Lawlessness will rule. We will face devastation in social, economic, political, and unfathomable ways. No community will be safe.

In other words, resisting (or, for that matter, just noticing)the unchecked excesses of the militarized, racist police state is an attack on our civilization which is worse than 9/11.
posted by clockzero at 12:49 PM on December 22, 2014 [14 favorites]


It would be interesting to see if this leads to meaningful gun ownership laws in the United States.

I lost all faith in meaningful gun reform when someone shot up a classroom of kindergartners and no one really did anything.
posted by desjardins at 12:51 PM on December 22, 2014 [31 favorites]


It is a war on law and order.
Says the convicted felon.

It is a war on what keeps our communities safe.
Choking an unarmed black man to death is what keeps our communities safe?

Our nation’s police are not at war on blacks or Hispanics or poor neighborhoods...It’s a lie!
Says the guy who implemented stop-and-frisk in a way that didn't track with where crime was taking place, but with where minority populations lived.

including that on 9/11/2001
Is there a Godwin equivalent for this? Maybe Giuliani-ing?

It’s a lie that has the potential to rip America at its seams
You must be shaking in your well-shined wingtips at your desk in your (multi?) million-dollar home in New Jersey. Fuck you for selling us fear and panic from the comfort your manse.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 1:02 PM on December 22, 2014 [13 favorites]


Pretty much *anything* increases gun sales in the US.
posted by Artw at 1:07 PM on December 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


If anyone's interested, this post links to a bunch of data visualizations that show the racial bias inherent in the stop and frisk program engineered by Kerik. Stop-and-frisk drove a wedge between the NYPD and the people of the city for years, and it's absolutely related to the current feelings of disenfranchisement and outrage. It's terribly ironic that the (since disgraced) man who helmed the program is standing up and shouting about how racial bias is a lie.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 1:30 PM on December 22, 2014 [6 favorites]


Our nation’s police are not at war on blacks or Hispanics or poor neighborhoods...It’s a lie!
Says the guy who implemented stop-and-frisk in a way that didn't track with where crime was taking place, but with where minority populations lived.


Which was consistent with its actual purpose.
posted by homunculus at 1:57 PM on December 22, 2014 [5 favorites]


Is this the guy that also stationed jumpy cops in darkened stairwells?
posted by Artw at 2:07 PM on December 22, 2014


If you're gonna blame anybody for 'unleashing' the madman on the two cops, blame the cop who strangled Garner. He now personally has the blood of two of his comrades on his chokeholding hands. (It's a more reasonable causal relationship than anything the RacistCopSupporters can claim).

Meanwhile, in Milwaukee, a cop who was kicked off the force for shooting a black man 13 times will face no criminal charges. It just keeps getting more obvious.

The Bad Apples have total control of the 'legal system'.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:29 PM on December 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


From Charles P. Pierce: The CIA & NYPD: Perilous Insubordination in our Democracy
It is very simple. If the CIA is insubordinate to the president, whom the country elected, then it is insubordinate to all of us. If the NYPD runs a slow-motion coup against the freely elected mayor of New York, then it is running a slow-motion coup against all the people of New York.
posted by Uncle Ira at 2:40 PM on December 22, 2014 [18 favorites]


It has become clear that not only de Blasio but his entire administration fear the NYPD. New York is becoming borderline fascist.
Mayor de Blasio Calls for Suspension of Protests

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday called for protesters to suspend demonstrations in the aftermath of the killing of two New York police officers, who were gunned down in Brooklyn as they sat in their patrol car.

“It’s time for everyone to put aside political debates, put aside protests, put aside all of the things that we will talk about in due time,” Mr. de Blasio said in a speech. “That can be for another day.”

The mayor’s call came a few hours after the police commissioner, William J. Bratton, said that the killing of the officers on Saturday was a “direct spinoff of this issue” of the protests that have roiled the nation in recent weeks.
posted by standardasparagus at 2:58 PM on December 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Is that fascism?
posted by clavdivs at 3:05 PM on December 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


Bratton is completely awful. Is there an easy answer as to why de Blasio appointed him?
posted by angrycat at 3:20 PM on December 22, 2014




Is that fascism?

For lack of a more direct, open threat to people exercising their First Amendment rights, it's Fascism Lite, maybe.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 3:28 PM on December 22, 2014


Inquiry does not work that way.

What is fascist lite, The Arrow Cross?
posted by clavdivs at 4:39 PM on December 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


A Weimar-y Vibe
The mayor has already called upon protesters to suspend their protests. Even though the protesters had already considerably softened their line—chanting “Blue Lives Matter,” too—De Blasio said today:

“It’s time for everyone to put aside political debates, put aside protests, put aside all of the things that we will talk about in due time.”…”That can be for another day.”

The mayor’s call came a few hours after the police commissioner, William J. Bratton, said that the killing of the officers on Saturday was a “direct spinoff of this issue” of the protests that have roiled the nation in recent weeks.

And with that, De Blasio’s pretty much handed over his administration to the NYPD.

Listening to these cries from the cops—of blood on people’s hands, of getting on a war footing—it’s hard not to think that a Dolchstosslegenende is being born. Throw in the witches brew of race and state violence that kicked it off, the nearly universal obeisance to the feelings and sensitivities of the most powerful and militarized sectors of the state, and the helplessness and haplessness of the city’s liberal voices, and you begin to get a sense of the Weimar-y vibe (and not the good kind) out there.

But whatever historical precedent comes to mind, one thing is clear.

The entire New York City establishment—not just De Blasio, but political, cultural, and economic elites—is terrified (or in support) of the cops. With the exception of this fairly cautious statement from Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, himself a former police captain, not one of these figures has spoken out against the Freikorps-ish rhetoric emanating from the NYPD. It’s not that these men and women are spineless or gutless in a psychological or personal sense. It’s worse: They’re politically frightened, which is far more dangerous. Because they have no sense of an alternative base or source of power. After decades of being whipsawed by capital—you could trace this rot all the way back to 1975, if not even further—they’re simply not prepared to take on the police. Even if they wanted to.
posted by standardasparagus at 4:40 PM on December 22, 2014 [8 favorites]


“It’s time for everyone to put aside political debates, put aside protests, put aside all of the things that we will talk about in due time,” Mr. de Blasio said in a speech. “That can be for another day.”

...wait for a "more convenient season."
posted by mikelieman at 4:47 PM on December 22, 2014 [4 favorites]


OED:
2. In extended use (depreciative).

a. Any form of behaviour perceived as autocratic, intolerant, or oppressive; esp. the advocacy of a particular viewpoint or practice in a manner that seeks to enforce conformity.
Followed by six citations starting in 1939. How about we not get hung up on the fact that language changes?
posted by Flunkie at 4:47 PM on December 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


What is perceived as autocratic that seeks to impose conformity.
posted by clavdivs at 4:59 PM on December 22, 2014


Is that a question? If so, "autocratic, intolerant, or oppressive." And if you don't think they're trying to enforce the conformity of "we shall not speak against police ever to any degree", well, OK I guess, you're entitled to your opinion.
posted by Flunkie at 5:02 PM on December 22, 2014


Is that fascism?

Inquiry does not work that way.

What is fascist lite, The Arrow Cross?


If we're going to be thorough and insist on assiduous fidelity to the actually-existing fascism of history, it seems unlikely that fascism per se will ever emerge again. It's entirely possible that it was a sui generis political form peculiar to early and mid-20th century Europe.

However, certain key features of our contemporary situation are more overtly fascistic, express the social logic of fascism in especially bracing ways. Among these are extreme civil belligerence on the part of ostensible public servants, a reckless disdain and hostility to civilian control of armed forces, a brutally-enforced social hierarchy based on ethnicity, a justice system that protects the powerful but mercilessly crushes the weak instead of defending them, and an apparently-incestuous relationship, characterized by inappropriately informal and anti-democratic collusion, between the power of capital, the state, and armed forces.
posted by clockzero at 5:04 PM on December 22, 2014 [15 favorites]


It's disgusting that Pat Lynch would use the tragic death of two officers as a neogitating tactic with the city.
posted by ryoshu at 5:36 PM on December 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'd add, to clockzero's list, an obsessive belief that the nation is threatened by internal and external enemies.
posted by thelonius at 5:38 PM on December 22, 2014 [5 favorites]






Paul Martin was on CNN and has made what I think is the definative statement on the events.
posted by humanfont at 9:10 PM on December 22, 2014


What did he say?
posted by cjorgensen at 9:21 PM on December 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


Baltimore FOX affiliate caught editing video to make it appear that protesters in Washington DC were chanting "kill a cop"

To make matters worse, the woman whose chant was distorted by the FOX affiliate is Tawanda Jones, whose brother was suffocated while in police custody last year.
posted by homunculus at 9:46 PM on December 22, 2014 [4 favorites]




"and with that, De Blasio’s pretty much handed over his administration to the NYPD."

Huh, I saw the commish on CBS news tonight. Is James Brown like Lord Haw-Haw or a mere fascist lackey?
posted by clavdivs at 11:59 PM on December 22, 2014


Yeah, I goggled Paul Martin/cnn and not much. Interested in that.
Missing link.
posted by clavdivs at 12:00 AM on December 23, 2014


Is this the guy that also stationed jumpy cops in darkened stairwells?
I think that was Ray Kelly's doing, as part of Operation Impact.

Here is an Instagram post about Officer Ramos, and his youth as an East Village tagger
Thanks for that! I wonder if I saw any of his tags when I was a kid.

To add to the available info about Officers Ramos and Liu: the Times interviewed some of the officers' neighbors in Cypress Hills and Gravesend (respectively), resulting in this fairly heartbreaking article.

Is that fascism?
No? Not at all? That's pretty hyperbolic? To suggest as much really misunderstands the depth and gravity of fascism?

That quote, again: "It’s time for everyone to put aside political debates, put aside protests, put aside all of the things that we will talk about in due time,” Mr. de Blasio said in a speech. “That can be for another day.”

A request (not even an order, mind you, but a plea) to cool it with the protests for the time being is not tantamount to fascism. You can disagree with it, sure, but it ain't fascism. De Blasio isn't banning all opposition parties or forms of public dissent, or jailing and torturing known protest leaders, or setting up a Stasi office where protesters can inform on one another. He's just asking people for discretion at what is a tense—but not particularly "Weimar-like"—time.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 12:57 AM on December 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


A request (not even an order, mind you, but a plea) to cool it with the protests for the time being is not tantamount to fascism.

No, but it is Business As Usual in destroying the legitimacy of the protesters. Nothing has changed. In the calculus of policing, there is no life more valuable than the officers', and if there's a *perceived* threat, there's no problem ending those 'worth-less' lives. Which is cowardly, given they are aware and are paid to make the ultimate sacrifice in performing their duty.

Why is Police Life more important than a Child's Life?

Why is Police Grief more important than a Parent's Grief?
posted by mikelieman at 3:18 AM on December 23, 2014


Did the NYPD stop enforcing dumb cigarette laws while the family of Eric Garner grieved?

I'm really asking: maybe they did? It's not totally crazy: take a few days off, have a big rally with a moment of silence, and then go back to work.

Frankly, both police and protesters could benefit from that kind of symbolic showing of solidarity. So both sides should do it for each other. It'd be nice if it was standard operating procedure for the police, of course, but that doesn't stop the protesters from trying to build some solidarity from their side, does it?
posted by anotherpanacea at 6:00 AM on December 23, 2014 [5 favorites]


Here is a YouTube link to the Paul Martin comments referenced above.
posted by humanfont at 6:20 AM on December 23, 2014


A transcript of his comments with a bit of the other guests cross talk pulled out.
PAUL MARTIN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Not that I buy it. It is absolutely correct. I'm a little surprised by comments regarding the attitude, or the comments of the mayor and the President. They are supposed to speak in a manner in which is truthful and honest. And maybe previous presidents didn't have this opportunity. Because they have not been stopped. Their children have not been the subject of racism. I've been shocked by the, listen, the death of these two police officers, terrible tragedy. But the attitude that racism doesn't exist in our criminal justice system, that is what's false. Mayor Giuliani is an idiot. I tell you that right now. He is ill informed. He is ignorant. And he is irrelevant. And trying to put himself in this position for political maneuvering is really unfortunate.

MARTIN: Listen, the rhetoric in the city has to stop. It has to stop from the PBA by saying --

BURNETT: The Police Officers Union of course, saying the mayor has blood on his hands that would appear to be intemperate also.

MARTIN: But you have to understand, the rhetoric has to stop. The rhetoric regarding, there is a war. A war on who? That's going to raise another issue. The rhetoric on part of protesters who claim, kill cops has to stop. There has to be some discussion to stop what's going on in this city. And it's not going to stop until people humbled themselves and come together and discuss it.
posted by humanfont at 6:34 AM on December 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Frankly, both police and protesters could benefit from that kind of symbolic showing of solidarity. So both sides should do it for each other.

It's a nice idea, too bad the PBA declared war instead.
posted by Artw at 6:37 AM on December 23, 2014 [5 favorites]


The rhetoric on part of protesters who claim, kill cops has to stop.

Man, I don't know. I've been out in the streets *A LOT* and I have yet to hear any protester yelling or chanting to "kill cops". Martin's statement isn't reasonable, it's untrue.
posted by stagewhisper at 8:22 AM on December 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


I doubt anyone who wants to kill cops goes to a protest. lol
posted by jeffburdges at 9:42 AM on December 23, 2014


It's a nice idea, too bad the PBA declared war instead.

There's at least rhetorical value in ignoring declarations of "war" while modeling appropriate support for their opponents. There's also rhetorical value in ignoring de Blasio's demands and pressing the protests even harder. The protesters will have to decide which rhetorical value is higher, of course. My only claim is that it might be nice to resist the politicized narrative, all the more because in the PBA's narrative there's already evidence of that sympathy is being manipulated as a part of the labor dispute.
posted by anotherpanacea at 9:44 AM on December 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


It'd be nice if it was standard operating procedure for the police, of course, but that doesn't stop the protesters from trying to build some solidarity from their side, does it?

I guess that's my hope, as Polyannaish as it seems. As utterly reprehensible as Lynch's words and actions have been, he's presented protesters with the opportunity to stand in contrast to him. To insist upon the sanctity of all human life. To demand justice not just for some, but for all.

As angry as I am, I don't just want to protest. I want things to actually change. And that means winning the hearts of minds of the people who haven't taken to the streets, and the cops who are standing on the sidelines. Because I genuinely believe that there are officers out there who aren't willing to turn their backs on the city, and who are tired of having Lynch put words in their mouths.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 9:49 AM on December 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


New York’s Cop Coup
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 9:52 AM on December 23, 2014 [1 favorite]






I'd wager Charles Dirosa hasn't been to a protest in particular.
posted by jeffburdges at 10:41 AM on December 23, 2014




"Emerald Garner, a daughter of Eric Garner, left a wreath at an impromptu road-side memorial swelling with flowers and candles that marks the spot where Ramos and Liu were killed."
posted by clavdivs at 4:08 PM on December 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Grieving family hooked with $1m medical bill after cops throw grenade at baby, government refuses to help

Here are a couple of articles by Alecia Phonesavanh, the mother of the injured toddler.
posted by homunculus at 4:20 PM on December 23, 2014


Josh Marshall: Who Do You Work For?
It is difficult to overstate the degree of shock, grief and outrage a tight knit organization like a major metropolitan police department - based on internal solidarity and mutual protection - will experience in response to murders so wanton and barbaric. Hotheaded reactions and wild rhetoric are not surprising. What is notable, though, is that this escalation began well before the murders of Ramos and Liu.

What stands out to me is that at least the leadership of the city's police unions operates on the assumption that the Mayor or the city's political leaders in general need to show reflexive support and defense of the police department or else they go to war with them.

[...]

The protestors who swelled around the city weren't some kind of alien army. They're New Yorkers. And the feeling that something deeply wrong happened in the death of Eric Garner was widespread in the city. As a point of reference, polls showed that 64 percent of New Yorkers supported bringing criminal charges against Officer Daniel Pantaleo. The number was substantially lower in Staten Island itself, the most conservative of the five boroughs, where the incident occurred. But even there the number was a substantial 41 percent.

[...]

This chart created by 538 acutely captures the latent and now not latent polarization in the city. The folks who support the police and the folks who support Mayor de Blasio do not tend to be the same people. (And to put this chart in perspective, remember: whites, Staten Islanders and Republicans all to varying degrees make up only a minority of New Yorkers.)

As a political reality, no Mayor can ignore that kind of public sentiment. But as a more substantive and integral one, these are the people who employ the NYPD, the people the NYPD is sworn to serve and protect. The idea that police demand reflexive support from the city's Mayor against large segments of or even the majority of the people they're sworn to serve and protect simply makes no sense. The people of New York and the NYPD are two groups which by definition must coexist. They can do so well or poorly. But they cannot be rid of each other - even though segments of both groups seem to wish they could.
posted by tonycpsu at 6:18 PM on December 23, 2014 [8 favorites]


That Fox station in Baltimore is owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group. Remember that company from the Bush years? They own 154 TV stations and in 2004, barred their ABC affiliates from airing an episode of Nightline in which Ted Koppel read the name of every US solider killed in Iraq. They also interrupted network prime time programming to broadcast a documentary critical of John Kerry and, later, Barack Obama.

WBFF is Sinclair's flagship station since it's nearest their company headquarters. So it's like the Eye of Sauron for their Mordor.
posted by riruro at 6:41 PM on December 23, 2014 [10 favorites]


Anyone remember the ABC mini-series "Path to 9-11" because I cannot find it on DVD.
Why is that?
posted by clavdivs at 7:58 PM on December 23, 2014


Are there known incidents of people shouting "Kill Cops" besides that manufactured Fox report? In my brief dips into CNN over the last couple of days I've seen a few mentions of this happening at previous protests. Wolf Blitzer just made reference to it, almost as a end of the segment aside, when I was watching fifteen minutes ago. I'm just wondering if their commentary has greater foundation or if it's unchecked, lazily repeated spin. It wouldn't be that surprising if the thoughtless anarchist/street hood fringe of the protests had engaged in some foolish noisemaking, some aggressive bravado. And if captured it would be a damaging hit to the efforts of the more meaningful protesters. But even then it should still be much more disturbing that the some media outlets are fabricating examples, and other broadcasters are failing to call them out on it.
posted by TimTypeZed at 8:50 PM on December 23, 2014


It also wouldn't be that surprising if cops posing as anti-cop protestors started chanting "kill cops".
posted by Flunkie at 8:53 PM on December 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


Wolf Blitzer just made reference to it, almost as a end of the segment aside, when I was watching fifteen minutes ago. I'm just wondering if their commentary has greater foundation or if it's unchecked, lazily repeated spin.

Probably the latter. "Unchecked, Lazily Repeated Spin" is Wolf Blitzer's middle name and CNN's motto.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:56 PM on December 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


"Emerald Garner, a daughter of Eric Garner, left a wreath at an impromptu road-side memorial swelling with flowers and candles that marks the spot where Ramos and Liu were killed."

That's touching. It's a far cry from how Michael Brown's memorial was treated.
posted by homunculus at 9:19 PM on December 23, 2014 [4 favorites]


That's plain wrong. Those dam police.
posted by clavdivs at 10:51 PM on December 23, 2014




When will accountability stand up and speak for those fallen. I'm lucky that in spite of a high crime rate, Flint tries to bust its bad cops like the one in jail who sexually abused citizens as a police officer. A position of trust and this person commits these heinous acts. I'm glad he was caught. There was another incident were a criminal was holed up, facing a murder charge, he shot a cop after the breach. the police used a bulldozer to gain access to the house starting with the roof. The criminal shot himself, officials leveled the house the next day.
Like Gaza?
So forgive me if my sensitivity to the concerns of the protesters rights is about nil.
posted by clavdivs at 11:06 PM on December 23, 2014


BestSignAtProtest.jpg
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 1:13 AM on December 24, 2014 [3 favorites]




Merry Christmas, guys.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:47 AM on December 24, 2014 [3 favorites]


Fatal Cop Shooting of Teen in Berkeley, Missouri Sparks Clashes
posted by Sys Rq at 7:51 AM on December 24, 2014 [4 favorites]


It's a far cry from how Michael Brown's memorial was treated.

I don't know if jackboots on flowers at a memorial is fascism, but it seems close enough to start asking some basic questions about where we are and how we got here.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:14 AM on December 24, 2014 [3 favorites]




From homunculus' Off duty, black cops in New York feel threat from fellow police link;

"Now if you want to get into the essence of why certain groups are stopped more than others, then you only need to go to the crime reports and see which ethnic groups are listed more as suspects. That’s the crime data the officers are living with."

Gee, I wonder if there are any other factors at play here, like poverty, the fact that one in four blacks have served time making it harder for them to get quality employment (poverty), blacks being a central focus by police, so naturally they see 'more crimes' because that is where they are looking...

I'm not saying that there isn't some disproportion to the black vs white crime numbers, (although I do actually question that.) but assuming there are, it might be worth looking at the factors that is causing that. I'd be more productive than continuing a policing strategy that obviously isn't working, and might actually solve some fucking problems.
posted by quin at 11:51 AM on December 24, 2014 [1 favorite]





Gee, I wonder if there are any other factors at play here, like poverty, the fact that one in four blacks have served time making it harder for them to get quality employment (poverty), blacks being a central focus by police, so naturally they see 'more crimes' because that is where they are looking...


Anyone who doesn't want to acknowledge these factors is basically saying they think black people are genetically predisposed to crime. What other reason would there be? Crime is just really fun?
posted by desjardins at 12:18 PM on December 24, 2014 [2 favorites]






Autopsy shows that mentally ill man was shot in the back by cop who fired 14 bullets into him, cop won't be prosecuted

Milwaukee family looks to federal investigation of shooting by police: Justice Department to review killing of black man by white Milwaukee police officer after county rules no charges
posted by homunculus at 2:17 PM on December 24, 2014




Oh for fuck's sake; regarding the Milwaukee case where an officer shot a mentally ill man 14 times, many in the back;

"Manney [the cop] said he attempted to push Hamilton [the black man who was killed] away to create distance. Manney said he thought Hamilton was growing stronger, reaching the point of "super human strength.""

Why is it that so many of these stories have the component of a black man who is unstoppable? It's getting absurd, and should be a dog whistle for an unjustified shooting.
posted by quin at 7:37 PM on December 24, 2014 [9 favorites]


There is a new MO police thread btw, not that that pertains to the Wisconsin comments. Around the NYC area :
Former NJ police chief accused of threatening child, shoving grandma to the ground
posted by jeffburdges at 7:48 PM on December 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


On the lighter side of authorities abusing their power :
Town Government Threatens Legal Action If Man Will Not Remove Zombie Nativity Scene
posted by jeffburdges at 9:29 PM on December 24, 2014


That Fox station in Baltimore is owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group. Remember that company from the Bush years? They own 154 TV stations and in 2004, barred their ABC affiliates from airing an episode of Nightline in which Ted Koppel read the name of every US solider killed in Iraq. They also interrupted network prime time programming to broadcast a documentary critical of John Kerry and, later, Barack Obama.

Yep, you're right. I'm a Baltimore small business owner who advertised with a local radio station a couple of years ago. Well, the ad sales guy at that radio station — my contact — moved "up" to Fox 45, the station in question, and he e-mailed me, hoping to drum up business and get us to advertise on WBFF. Now, I'm a pretty powerless everyday guy most of the time, but given this rare opportunity to speak, I savored responding to him tonight, citing Fox and Sinclair's assholish behavior in the past to tell him exactly why I'm NOT interested.

This was coming from a former paying customer (at his old job, a relatively inoffensive local rock radio station), so he knows I'm not just some random guy spouting off, but a business owner who actually PAID him for services rendered in the past (at his former employer). A SMALL BUSINESS OWNER (which, in America in 2014, is basically above every God and deity you can name). And I dared to tell him to go to hell.

Yeah, I'm a small guy who's easily amused. Like I said, I don't have much power in my day-to-day affairs, but to tell a Sinclair guy to fuck the fuck off, well . . . it's deeply satisfying.

(And oh yes, you can damn well better believe I cited his employer's editing of that video, too.)
posted by CommonSense at 10:44 PM on December 24, 2014 [18 favorites]


Why is it that so many of these stories have the component of a black man who is unstoppable?

Because it worked every time they needed it in the War on Drugs (even before the term existed) -- marijuana was making users into unstoppable monsters; then cocaine; then PCP; then crack; then meth. And now, who are (said to be) the primary role models for young black men? Athletes, who are physically imposing unstoppable monsters; and rappers, who are all carrying guns.
posted by Etrigan at 1:23 AM on December 25, 2014 [2 favorites]






Injustice breeds injustice.

It would be kinda great if somebody interviewed a lot of NYPD cops and got a better idea what they think about the killings of unarmed black men, about racism, sexism, violence. I'd like to see the stats by race, gender, age. I would so hate to be a cop. They really do face a lot of crap, and a lot of violent crap. They have a de facto adversarial relationship with everybody, and cop culture is a stinking mess. People under attack do tend to defend their ranks.

Change has to come from the top, has to be serious, has to be intolerant of corruption, doesn't look like it will come anywhere close for at least an election cycle or 3. The rah-rah military and cops are heroes sentiment is widespread, and it's kryptonite. Changes in sentencing rules would help a lot.

politics seldom breeds justice.
posted by theora55 at 12:06 AM on December 27, 2014




Man, NYPD really are showing themselves to be uniformly a bunch of awful shits.
posted by Artw at 9:30 AM on December 27, 2014 [6 favorites]


Where the hell did Nashville get a police chief like this? This entire open letter to his force (republished for the benefit of all in a local newspaper) kind of reads like John Oliver channelling Fred Rogers.
Overwhelmingly, in comments that have been directed to me, the public is supportive of your actions. Obviously, some have expressed disagreement. Most have stated their disapproval in a well thought out and rational manner. Their thoughts should be respected and given consideration.

However, as in any similar issue, there is a fringe, generally about 5 percent, on either end of the approval spectrum that have very strong views. It is readily apparent that their thought processes are driven, not by what has occurred during the demonstration, but more by the social positions taken by the demonstrators. Clearly, they are more angry at the thoughts expressed by the demonstrators than how the demonstrations are being conducted. While I respect their right to take that position, we cannot allow those views to be a part of our decision making process. Decisions need to be made with a view toward what is best for all of Nashville.

Below is my reply to one such email I received. I have removed the name and other identifying information from the email in order to respect the privacy of the individual. ...
Read the whole thing. It's a master class in scolding with an edge.

I can't resist. Here's just one section:
[Quote from angry letter sent to the Mayor] "I have a son who I have raised to respect police officers and other authority figures, but if he comes to me today and asks "Why are the police allowing this?" I wouldn't have a good answer."[end of quote]

It is somewhat perplexing when children are injected into the conversation as an attempt to bolster a position or as an attempt to thwart the position of another. While this is not the type of conversation I ordinarily engage in, here are some thoughts you may find useful as you talk with your son.

First, it is laudable that you are teaching your son respect for the police and other authority figures. However, a better lesson might be that it is the government the police serve that should be respected. The police are merely a representative of a government formed by the people for the people—for all people. Being respectful of the government would mean being respectful of all persons, no matter what their views.

Later, it might be good to point out that the government needs to be, and is, somewhat flexible, especially in situations where there are minor violations of law. A government that had zero tolerance for even minor infractions would prove unworkable in short order.

Although this is unlikely, given your zero tolerance stance, suppose that, by accident or perhaps inattention, you found yourself going 40 miles per hour in a 30 miles per hour zone and that you were stopped by a police officer. Then, after making assurances that licenses were in order and that there were no outstanding warrants, the officer asked you not to speed again and did not issue a citation, but merely sent you on your way.

As you have suggested, a question may come to you from the back seat, "How can I respect the police if they will not enforce the law?" In the event this does occur, here are some facts that might help you answer that question.

In the year 2013, our officers made over four hundred thousand vehicle stops, mostly for traffic violations. A citation was issued in only about one in six of those stops. Five of the six received warnings. This is the police exercising discretion for minor violations of the law. Few, if any, persons would argue that the police should have no discretion.

This is an explanation you might give your son. Take into account, however, that the innocence of children can produce the most profound and probing questions. They often see the world in a very clear and precise manner, their eyes unclouded by the biases life gives us. This could produce the next question. "If you believe that the police should enforce the law at all times, why didn't you insist that the officer write you a ticket?"

I don't have a suggestion as to how that should be answered.
posted by maudlin at 10:48 AM on December 27, 2014 [12 favorites]




Turn Your Backs On Police

A challenging argument, especially for non-New Yorkers. But perhaps there is good reason to generalize the practice.

Far too much of the deference to law enforcement seems to spring from argumentum ad baculum: respect the police because they can make your life hell if you don't. Maybe what they need is less respect.
posted by anotherpanacea at 9:16 AM on December 28, 2014




So now the NYPD has joined the Westboro Baptist Church in staging protests at funerals?
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:23 PM on December 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


I don't know how it's possible to police the police. The Milwaukee police chief fired the officer who shot Dontre Hamilton (for not following procedure leading up to the shooting, not even for the actual shooting!) and the police union held a meeting shortly thereafter to voice their displeasure. 99.3% of the union members voted that they had "no confidence" in the police chief. The officer is appealing his firing, and the DA has decided not to charge him. Also:
Two days before being fired, Manney applied for duty disability retirement. In the application, Manney claims this incident has left him with ‘debilitating mental health issues.’ [...]

A panel of doctors will review Manney’s request for duty disability. If the benefit is approved, he could get 75% of his final average salary tax-free as a disability pension benefit until he is eligible for full retirement.
posted by desjardins at 1:08 PM on December 29, 2014




NYPD cops joke about planting drugs on De Blasio's daughter

I'd imagine NYC can make up any shortfall from traffic ticket revenue by reducing funding to the NYPD, not that fines should pay for law enforcement, but if revenue is an active negotiating point.
posted by jeffburdges at 1:15 PM on December 30, 2014


NYPD cops joke about planting drugs on De Blasio's daughter

FFS. In a more paranoid moment it crossed my mind that de Blasio's son should maybe steer clear of any possible encounters with the police. Now that thought doesn't feel so paranoid after all.
posted by homunculus at 2:55 PM on December 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I've been worrying since this shit started that they would deliberately choose to not do their jobs in the event of a plausible threat against him or his family, and everything they've done since then has made me more concerned.
posted by poffin boffin at 3:02 PM on December 30, 2014 [4 favorites]


Good luck to NY on firing as many of the worthless fucks as possible. Here's hoping they can be kept from their pensions.
posted by Artw at 3:09 PM on December 30, 2014 [2 favorites]






I wonder what will happen if New York doesn't descend into anarchy when the cops stop doing their job? Will it be taken as proof that "broken windows" policing doesn't work? Will it be evidence that the NYPD is overstaffed and could use some serious cutbacks? Maybe it would be a good time for Occupy Wall Street to crank back up.

Also:
This woman shoots up an entire neighborhood and will be alive to stand trial. It's a good thing she didn't sell loose cigarettes, or wave a BB gun, or fail to respond promptly to an officer's request to get the fck back up on the sidewalk.
posted by TedW at 6:32 AM on December 31, 2014


NYT: "Rank-and-file officers deserve a department they can be proud of, not the insular, defiant, toxically politicized constituency that Mr. Lynch seems to want to lead."
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:44 AM on December 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


The Benefits of Fewer NYPD Arrests
posted by Artw at 8:18 AM on December 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


Okay, a couple days before Christmas I got one of those periodic phone-call solicitations from the NYPD PBA, and as I was in the middle of a dinner party I simply told them it wasn't a good time.

Now that all this is going down, I kinda wish they'd called me THIS week so I could tell them off before hanging up ("Since y'all are turning your backs on the city, I'mma turn my back on you too").
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:44 AM on December 31, 2014 [1 favorite]




Umm, the headline is a little misleading there.

The police found the video threatening because it was a direct violent threat to police by a pretty clearly disturbed individual.

They hunted him down by going to his house and ringing the doorbell.

He tried to make a break for it, ramming at least one police car when hemmed in. He also appeared to be going after cops who were on foot.

So they shot him.

I'm not terribly fond of that last step, but the sensationalism brought to the headline is the sort of journalism the world doesn't need right now. If ever.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:36 AM on December 31, 2014 [4 favorites]


At that point it seems that police actually had no prior warrants against him and no reason to arrest him, but they were so upset by the videos that they decided to arrest him for making “terrorist threats.”

I would very much like to see the warrant for his arrest, and learn on what basis the issuing judge signed it.
posted by mikelieman at 12:57 PM on December 31, 2014


At that point it seems that police actually had no prior warrants against him and no reason to arrest him, but they were so upset by the videos that they decided to arrest him for making “terrorist threats.”

The villain trying to undercut the prophecy is always what makes the prophecy come true.
posted by Etrigan at 1:08 PM on December 31, 2014


I donno if anyone posted this elsewhere, but..

Eric Garner’s Death a Retaliatory Move by NYPD

“I wouldn’t really say [he was killed] because Eric was a black man. It’s due to the fact that they stole money from [Eric] and refused to give him his money, and he filed charges against them.”
posted by jeffburdges at 2:34 PM on December 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm not surprised that a union is engaging in a slowdown by work-to-rule during contract negotiations. I am a little surprised to see how supportive some media outlets are - especially ones that have, in the past, attacked public-sector unions for being a drain on taxpayers.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:22 PM on December 31, 2014


I am a little surprised to see how supportive some media outlets are - especially ones that have, in the past, attacked public-sector unions for being a drain on taxpayers.

Public-sector unions are different from public safety unions. The former protect lazy, overfed office wankers who cozy up to the politicians who only want to increase their own influence by making the government bigger; the latter protect the finest and the bravest from the politicians who only want to let criminals run free.
posted by Etrigan at 11:34 AM on January 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


So not to brag but this is my city's chief of police.
posted by octothorpe at 3:34 PM on January 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


Jesus... Report: Cop Turned Himself In For Allegedly Attacking MTA Worker At Subway Station

Fire the lot of them, right away.
posted by Artw at 3:47 PM on January 1, 2015






He doesn't appear to be backing down. You can keep bragging.
posted by Etrigan at 10:02 AM on January 3, 2015






Consider that the next time people bitch about the quality of schools.
posted by mikelieman at 4:42 AM on January 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Given that they have just demonstrated they are way overstaffed and it seems to be particular cops who cost so much money this way I think I see a solution.
posted by Artw at 7:57 AM on January 4, 2015


NYPD Officers again turn backs on DeBlasio, defying Blatton's request for respect.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:20 AM on January 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


This morning Newt Gingrich was on TV once again blaming Obama's negative rhetoric and suggesting the real problem was people don't listen to cops. It's nice being rich and white.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:06 AM on January 4, 2015


In the short term, settlement money probably comes from the most discretionary part of the spending pool, meaning it hurts the politicians reelection campaigns more than it hurts schools, police, etc. It'd be great if judges could/would target fines more narrowly, like paying the fines directly from the NYPD's budget, pension scheme, etc.
posted by jeffburdges at 5:07 PM on January 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Coates: Why the NYPD Turned Its Back on the City
Those who are demoralized by these protests would do well to read James Fallows's cover story on the American military this month. The same cloak of puffed grandeur and bombast that surrounds our army can be detected in our police. Jim is describing a society that has taken its hands off the wheel. Give us safety now (real or imagined), goes the agreement, and we won't ask about what comes later. Until some critical mass of Americans decides that police cannot, all at once, wield the lethal power of gods and the meager responsibilities of mortals, change is unlikely.

And it always was. If the public appetite for police reform can be soured by the mad acts of a man living on the edge of society, then the appetite was probably never really there to begin with. And the police, or at least their representatives, know this. In this piece, by Wesley Lowery, there are several amazing moments where police complain about things Barack Obama and Eric Holder have not actually said. There simply is no level of critique they would find tolerable. Why take criticism when you don't actually have to? Better to remind the public that you are the only thing standing between them and the barbarians at the gate[?]
posted by tonycpsu at 9:20 AM on January 6, 2015 [7 favorites]


Coates: Why the NYPD Turned Its Back on the City

We really are at the point where TNC can just CTRL-V "It's not a bug, it's a feature" every week or so and still be among the best commentators on American society today.
posted by Etrigan at 10:42 AM on January 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


We really are at the point where TNC can just CTRL-V "It's not a bug, it's a feature" every week or so


"The purpose of a system is what it does."
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:21 AM on January 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


No Justice, No Police
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:44 AM on January 7, 2015




Jeez, wasn't there also some talk of cops joking that they should frame his daughter for drug possession too?

Jeez.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:20 PM on January 8, 2015


The insubordination and contemptuous attitude on display by the NYPD seems to be giving De Blasio and his allies more power to clean house.
posted by humanfont at 5:36 PM on January 8, 2015


Is the NYPD starting a fake crime wave? Woman randomly attacked by NYPD officer in subway.
It's more a comment on biased reporting about the incident than a real conspiracy theory, but always worth keeping an eye out for false flag operations.
posted by jeffburdges at 8:27 PM on January 10, 2015 [1 favorite]










The Point of Order
The question of whom the police serve, and whose order they impose, is once again up for debate. But it is as old as policing itself. A political cartoon by Charles Jameson Grant, sold for a penny or two on the streets of London around 1834, depicts the British secretary of state addressing members of London’s recently formed Metropolitan Police Force. “My lads,” he says, “you are always justified in breaking the heads of the public when you consider it absolutely necessary for the maintenance of the public peace.” The assembled constables, a rough-looking crew, appear perfectly capable of such a task. “By Jasus I wish your honor would give us a few throats to cut,” one says, “for we have had enough of breaking heads.”

Just about five years old at the time, the Metropolitan Police had already earned a handful of unflattering nicknames, as noted in the cartoon’s title: “Reviewing the Blue Devils, Alias the Raw Lobsters, Alias the Bludgeon Men.” Britain’s soldiers were colloquially known as lobsters, because they wore red coats, so in an effort to quiet fears that the police would be a kind of occupying army, the Metropolitan Police wore blue instead. Many early opponents of the police suspected that the difference was only cosmetic; they worried that it would take only a little hot water for the men in blue to show their true color.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:19 PM on January 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


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