By Nathan Barton
I guess that the “big news” this weekend was the assassination of two NYPD cops in their vehicle in Brooklyn: killings immediately claimed as retaliation for the brutal behavior of NYPD, as most recently in the news following the failure of a grand jury to indict cops for the death of Erik Garner.
We have this news also: Police departments on alert after cop killings: “Big-city police departments and union leaders around the country are warning the rank and file to wear bulletproof vests and avoid making inflammatory posts on social media in the days after a man ambushed two officers and shot them to death inside their patrol car.”
Well, perhaps their instructions or suggestions could be whole lot more specific: “treat ‘civilians’ as you want to be treated yourself,” would be a good start. “Stop terrorizing, abusing, beating, tazing, and shooting or otherwise killing people with little or no justification,” and “officer safety is NOT a license to kill or maim,” and perhaps, add a few words to that infamous motto, “To Serve and Protect…” “the PUBLIC,” perhaps, or “the PEOPLE INDIVIDUALLY,” or something like that? Instead of themselves, their “brothers in blue,” their bosses, or the politicians in power?
Mama’s Note: No mention of it in the “reports,” naturally, but I’m wondering how in the world anyone like that got even close to those cops, and managed to shoot them both! Are the New York cops trained in (and regularly practice) serious situational awareness? Or are they lazy, overconfident fools who think their badge and uniform should be all that is needed to scare off thugs? These two had every opportunity to be in a good position to defend themselves, and if they can’t even do that… what in the world good are they to anyone else?
The Daily News reports that people were cheering, clapping, and laughing at the scene, saying things like “they deserve it,” and “about time.” The sheer fear and hatred shown at the scene and on-line is both shocking and inevitable, given the track record of NYPD and the recent lack of action. There is NO reason to “rally around the cops” as too many of us have been taught to do, because whether these two men deserved it (and they probably did not), they are in the uniform of what more and more people in this nation and the world view as the enemy.
There are many people praying and pleading for peace and calm after the ambush. It seems to me that the appeal needs to be made to police officers, especially NYPD, just as much as to protesters and others. At the same time, people need to realize that it was NOT the thousands of protester in NYC or anywhere else that pulled the trigger that killed these two officer. And except for those few protesters stupid enough to wave and scream about dead cops, none of the protesters can be accused of encouraging the guy who did this. HE and he alone is responsible for shooting. Many people can be pointed at as contributing to these murders (for indeed, there is nothing of self-defense about this act), not least of which is the NYPD itself.
What is the solution? In the case of New York City, the NYPD needs to be disbanded, and replaced by as much PRIVATE security as possible: individual property owners either individually or cooperatively providing for safety and crime prevention, coupled with very limited neighborhood run and supported and supervised patrols. Yes, there is a need for criminal investigations and emergency response, but it can be done on a cooperative, private-contract basis as well, in which organizations compete in a very open market and courtesy and respect are as important as fairness and honesty and responsiveness. Perhaps the old County Sheriff system could be revived for each of the five boroughs, but where the elected Sheriff is there to provide oversight and serve as an ombudsman for any organization providing emergency response services, and to coordinate those services for major problems, be it traffic or riots or attacks or natural disasters. We don’t need standing armies of occupation even in cesspools like New York City. How many more people must die needlessly before this is realized?
Do I think that this is going to happen? Of course not. Indeed, the calls for nationalizing police (as is the case in France, much the case in Canada, and taking place now in Mexico) are just growing: the wrong “solution” for the wrong problem. It is not racism but fear that drives much of the brutality of police: that and the way in which police are recruited and trained. I see nothing in government or politics to indicate that real solutions will ever be implemented, without massive collapse and bloodshed first taking place.
The real and immediate concern is that this DOES take us one more step down the path of societal collapse. It is similar to the situation we see in Pakistan, an “Army with a Nation” in which the military has been one of the very few things binding the nation together, and in which the Army is being attacked and revealed as unable even to protect its own installations and families. Will this lead to a situation where the next Brown or Garner killing will immediately result not just in protests and riots in which police cars are burned and police stations attacked, but in which police (and/or their families) are tracked down, no, hunted down and attacked, beaten, and killed? Will the next time a child is horrifically burned and injured by a cop-tossed flash-bang end with that cop and his fellows on that police force ambushed in retaliation?
But cops do not work in a vacuum: they are responsible to their bosses in the department, and theoretically to civilian commissioners and city councils and the like. Will the feuds and attacks escalate right on up? In New York, is not the Police Commissioner, Bratton, and even the Mayor de Blasio responsible for the behavior, the actions, of the police? Did a grand jury even need to be convened to get the justice that Erik Garner deserved? On whose hands are these police officers’ blood?
It is the same the world over. The Australian prime minister has condemned the words of an Australian member of Parliament who pointed out (after the recent Sidney hostage taking and killing by a Muslim terrorist) that the nation’s gun laws have made Australia a “nation of victims” disarmed and able to be killed and abused. It happens daily in the United Kingdom, in France, in Germany, in India, and in hundreds of places where people are disarmed and the cops are made more and more heavily armed to respond to the criminals who don’t care whether their weapons are illegal or not.