The Execution Of Two NYPD Cops And The Attempt To Silence Police Protests

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We need more people like Frank Serpico shown here, not Giuliani or Pat Lynch

In the aftermath of the killing of two NYPD officers, some politicians and police are using the tragedy for political posturing purposes—and to cover-up and justify their role in creating the current climate where African-Americans, Latinos and other ethnic minority groups are fed-up with police abuse and murder.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is no doubt under intense pressure by backward elements within politics and the NYPD, is now asking for a “suspension” of protests against police brutality. Apparently, these people think the life of a police officer is so much more precious than that of Black people and poor people who’ve been killed by brutal cops like Daniel Pantaleo.

Do they really think they can put the genie back in the bottle so easily?

Former mayor Rudy Giuliani, Congressman Peter King and PBA President Pat Lynch are now trying to stifle peaceful protests by claiming the protests—not the epidemic nature of police brutality and murder of unarmed Black men—led the mentally ill Ismaaiyl Brinsley to shoot the two officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu.

In recent days more evidence has emerged showing how severely mentally ill the gunman was.

Yet Giuliani, King and former governor George Pataki are now blaming everybody, except themselves, for the climate of anger, distrust—and yes, venomous hatred—that many feel toward some White police officers who continually criminalize and brutalize Black people, Latinos, and others those deem as “expendables.”

But it is the harassment that accompanies police policy aimed at African-Americans—that these politicians sanctioned—that has created the toxic, deadly situation in which these two officers, sadly, were killed.

Rep. Peter King had the nerve to say the killing of Eric Garner had nothing to do with race and that we should respect the crooked outcome coming from the sham grand jury on Staten Island. Isn’t it interesting when some White people—especially those who like in segregated suburbs—tell Black people that we’re always imagining racism? King, who is supposed to be an ardent foe of terrorism, was a supporter of the IRA—which was known for its bombing campaigns against the English government. This man’s credibility is suspect at best.

Giuliani, for his part, infamously joined a riot by 10,000 cops in 1992 who stormed City Hall and swarmed over barricades when Dave Dinkins was mayor, screaming the N-word to refer to him.

The PBA’s Patrick Lynch has been spitting insidious invectives since the tragic execution-murders of Officers Ramos and Liu, in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. His claim that the “blood on the hands starts on the steps of City Hall, in the office of the mayor,” is way beyond absurd. But Lynch is known for making nutty, asinine statements; like when he said Eric Garner was not put in a chokehold—and caused his own death.

According to the PBA chief, the lynch-hold which the world has, repeatedly, seen was really a “seatbelt hold.” He shockingly said Officer Pantaleo really used a “textbook” takedown maneuver. Even Police Commissioner Bill Bratton himself would probably never say such a dumb thing.

Commissioner Bratton’s policing policy deserves a thorough and critical examination.

Mr. Bratton said the killings of these officers were a “direct spinoff” of the peaceful protests against police prejudice and brutality. Somehow, the commissioner and others who either help create these racist policing policies like “Broken Windows” and “Stop-and-Frisk” or champion these offensive practices want to project the blame for the chaos they cause on others.

The notion that these cop murders are somehow the fault of, largely, peaceful people protesting police prejudice and brutality is an insidiously despicable statement by those who actually created the awful climate of distrust and hatred existing now between the police and Black America.

We should ask Bratton, and those who support “Broken Windows,” this: where is the “zero tolerance” for those who break rules on Wall Street? If “Broken Windows,” as a police policy, deems it necessary to punish little “crimes” to discourage big ones, where, then, is the “Broken Windows” policy to rein in Wall Street? Their "little" crimes grew exponentially to spark the great recession and almost bring down the global economy.

Isn’t it interesting that those who promote policies like “Broken Windows” and “Stop-and-Frisk,” because they supposedly want to reduce crime, never push economic policies that are at the heart of most of the crime problem in Black America? Who do these dishonest people think they’re fooling? Why is it they have no problem allocating resources for “law-enforcement” and “corrections” but can’t find money to create economic and educational opportunities for the marginalized who are then criminalized through "broken windows"?

Let’s dispel a popular lie here: the fable that most police problems are caused by a few “bad apples.” We’re constantly told most cops are “good.” That may be true—depending on how you define “good”—but, unfortunately, the corrupt culture in these police departments will surely silence most of these “good cops,” or, they will be vilified and bounced from the force—as was done to officers like: Officer Adhyl Polanco, Officer Adrian Schoolcraft and Officer Craig Matthews.

Worse yet they could be shot and almost killed like Frank Serpico. Imagine officers hid behind the disgraceful "blue wall" of silence to try and conceal the sodomy-torture of Abner Louima in a police precinct.

Because of the brave actions of officers Polanco, Schoolcraft and Matthews—including recordings proving police profiling—we know the NYPD has quotas they call “performance goals” that directly target African-Americans.

The NYPD’S “Blue Wall” has ostracized these honorable officers. When other officers see the treatment these officers were subjected to isn’t it obvious why we see a conspiracy of silence within the NYPD?

Back in the Sixties and Seventies, Officer Serpico learned the hard way that being an “honest” cop was virtually impossible—and could get you killed. Recently, Mr. Serpico, in an op-ed said this about the killing of Eric Garner: “Was I surprised by the Staten Island grand jury? Of course not. When was the last time a police officer was indicted? But today, we have cops crying wolf all the time. They testify ‘I was in fear of my life,’ the grand jury buys it, the DA winks and nods, and there's no indictment… What's happening today in the performance of some officers can only be described as sheer cowardice. They don't belong in the uniform, and they shouldn't have weapons.”

In the wake of the tragic killing of Officers Ramos and Liu, we’ve again heard the claim that “police are here to protect us.” But Black America was never part of that “us.” In fact, the historical emergence of the institution of American policing has always operated as mechanism to oppress the children of African slaves.

Consider this excerpt, from an article by Dr. Victor Kappeler, a former police officer and Associate Dean of the School of Justice Studies at Eastern Kentucky University: “The birth and development of the American police can be traced to a multitude of historical, legal and political-economic conditions. The institution of slavery and the control of minorities, however, were two of the more formidable historic features of American society shaping early policing. Slave patrols and Night Watches, which later became modern police departments, were both designed to control the behaviors of minorities…

Blacks have long been targets of abuse. The use of patrols to capture runaway slaves was one of the precursors of formal police forces, especially in the South. This disastrous legacy persisted as an element of the police role even after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In some cases, police harassment simply meant people of African descent were more likely to be stopped and questioned by the police, while at the other extreme, they have suffered beatings, and even murder, at the hands of White police. Questions still arise today about the disproportionately high numbers of people of African descent killed, beaten, and arrested by police in major urban cities of America.”

Indeed, if one examines today’s modern police and sheriff’s badges to the “Slave Patrol badges” and the Plantation Police badges” the similarities are chilling.

There is another ugly reality to face here: politicians like Giuliani misuse statistics to justify the continued criminalization and economic exploitation of African-Americans. The tactic here: destabilize Black America so, mostly, White police families can continue to utilize police departments as a source of secure employment—at the expense of African-Americans. Revolving generations of White police families have long depended on the police department for jobs—therefore, manufactured statistics to justify the continued oppression of Black America is their imperative.

We must expose this skullduggery.

The killing of Officers Ramos and Liu is truly tragic.

But all lives matter, regardless of class or color. The notion that peaceful protesters should now be silent, because of the murder of these officers is unacceptable and sends the wrong message: that the lives of slain officers matter more than the lives of innocent African-Americans, and others, killed by police. 

 

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