‘Puter promised there’d be a Part II to his exegetical study of the New York Times lead editorial When New York City Police Walk Off the Job. In Part I, ‘Puter roundly denounced the NYPD for their not-so-sub-rosa strike.* In Part II, ‘Puter will break up the intellectual circle jerk that is the editors’ suite at the New York Times.
Where to begin? How about with this with this gem: “…the reasons for the plunge [in arrests for petty crimes] are not entirely clear. But it is so steep and sudden as to suggest a dangerous, deplorable escalation of the police confrontation with the de Blasio administration.”
‘Puter’s never been to a fancy pants journalism school. ‘Puter’s just an ordinary, run of the mill unfrozen caveman lawyer, but he does know this. Using the editorial page of arguably the nation’s largest daily newspaper to attack a city’s police force based on what one admits is a wild-assed guess is journalistic malpractice.
Yes, ‘Puter knows you put a disclaimer in there. Yes, ‘Puter knows (and agrees) it’s more likely than not the NYPD is ceasing law enforcement in protest of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s near-communist world view. But for Pete’s sake, editors. You have a duty to the public – even on the editorial pages – to make sure you’ve got your facts right before impugning an entire class of city workers.
The editors go on to accuse the NYPD of “a public act of extortion,” claiming the NYPD is overreacting to the perfectly sane, reasonable acts of a benevolent mayor. The editors then list Mayor de Blasio’s beneficent and/or innocent acts:
- Ended stop and frisk, which “victimized hundreds of thousands of innocent young black and Latino men”
- Called for an inspector general to oversee NYPD and ending racial profiling
- Gave alleged reverend Al Sharpton a seat at the table with the NYPD commissioner after the death of Eric Garner
- Told his multi-/bi-racial son Dante to “take special care” in encounters with the police
- Supported anti-police protests (and condemned violent protests), using the so-called movement’s catch phrase “black lives matter.”
On stop and frisk, the editors lie through omission. The prior administration had appealed an ill-considered and generally piss-poor federal court decision on stop and frisk’s legality. In fact, the court’s decision was so bad, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit practically begged New York to file an appeal of the decision so it could be corrected before it did greater harm. The editors conveniently omit telling readers Mayor de Blasio on taking office pulled the appeal over the NYPD’s vociferous objections before the Second Circuit could reverse a liberal, biased lower court decision.
As to the victimization of “hundreds of thousands” of minorities, ‘Puter simply replies “shenanigans.” First, you’re not a victim if a cop legally stops you and frisks you. Stop and frisk is a vitally important law enforcement tool, but one that needs to be judiciously applied so as to avoid racial discrimination. You are not a victim if no harm comes to you, and assuming police properly apply (and applied) stop and frisk, you’ve suffered no constitutional harm. Second, “hundreds of thousands” is up to about 15% of New Yorkers getting stopped and frisked. If we limit the pool of stop and frisk “victims” to youngish male minorities, we’re talking a much higher percentage. Again, ‘Puter calls shenanigans on the New York Times’ wishful thinking.
‘Puter’s cool with an inspector general over the NYPD, but the last thing New York needs is more do-nothing, unionized government workers. There’s already a process in place for reviewing police actions, up to and including criminal indictment for malfeasance. Layering another useless process on an already too complex system only harms accountability.
The editors and Mayor de Blasio, in claiming to “end racial profiling,” accuse the NYPD of racial profiling. This is a false accusation. Do some cops impermissibly racially profile? Yes, and those police violate law and the Constitution and should be fired. But the NYPD does not condone racial profiling. It does not teach racial profiling and it does not racially profile. The NYPD’s racial makeup closely mirrors that of the City itself. For Mayor de Blasio’s unfounded accusation to be true, we must assume that nearly half of the NYPD that isn’t White goes along with unwritten, double-secret NYPD orders to violate the rights of their own racial groups. To say this is unlikely is to be polite to Mayor de Blasio and the New York Times.
Al Sharpton is a bigoted, racist, smarmy, tax evading, criminal bastard whose biggest contribution to American society would be to toss himself off the Brooklyn Bridge. To invite Sharpton to sit at a table with the NYPD’s commissioner to discuss racial issues would be equivalent to inviting the Klan’s Grand Dragon to a meeting with the NAACP’s president. It’s so strikingly, obviously incendiary that no sane person – much less the frikkin’ mayor of New York City – should ever consider doing so. Yet that’s exactly what Mayor de Blasio did. The NYPD was rightly incensed at the mayor’s provocative act regardless of whether the mayor’s act was intentional or stupid.
It’s common sense for a parent of any child to tell them to “take special care” when interacting with police. ‘Puter, a middle-aged White father of two teenagers, has had the same danged discussion with his children. ‘Puter tells his sons to always be polite to cops and obey their orders, regardless of the legality or reasonableness of such orders. The time to have the fight over constitutional issues isn’t in the heat of the moment, especially when your opponent: (1) is armored and armed; (2) can call in many other armed friends; and (3) has the authority of law on his side. Cops can be wrong and stupid, but telling them so isn’t going to get you anything but arrested if you’re lucky, roughed up if you’re unlucky and shot if you’ve got ‘Puter’s luck. It’s fine for Mayor de Blasio to have this discussion with his son. What’s not alright is for Mayor de Blasio to have the same frikkin’ discussion at a press conference. It’s irresponsible, and the mayor’s ill-advised words painted the entire NYPD as thuggish bigots. The mayor should’ve known better, and it’s telling he didn’t.
Mayor de Blasio’s words and actions gave succor to allegedly peaceful protestors. In ‘Puter’s small mind, it’s not a peaceful protest when you block traffic in an effort to grind America’s financial capital to a halt. It’s not a peaceful protest when “protestors” chant about wanting cops killed, and right now, dammit. It may have been prudent to not call in the riot squad to break up these protests, but it’s not prudent to refuse to denounce the illegal acts of the so-called peaceful protestors. Mayor de Blasio’s sympathetic words and inaction emboldened protestors, and may have inadvertently encouraged the deranged man who gunned down two cops in cold blood. For that alone, the mayor deserves our contempt.
The New York Times editors are so biased and blinkered they’re willing to throw the entire police force under the bus in support of a unprepared, unprofessional and cowardly mayor. And for what? A return to the New York City of the 1970s and early 1980s?
‘Puter remembers those days. Anyone who wants to go back there is an idiot. Or, perhaps, an editor for the New York Times.
* ‘Puter thinks Shakespeare put it best when he wrote “A strike by any other name is still a strike, now get back to work, you shiftless, overpaid, gold-plated benefit receiving public ‘servants.’”**
** ‘Puter really, really hates public sector unions. Has he mentioned that recently?