I’ve been a supporter both of law enforcement and legitimate police accountability groups since the police brutality issue began. Recently, I marched in a #BlackLivesMatter protest and met the family of Victor White III who allegedly died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest while in the back of a New Iberia Parish deputy’s vehicle, despite being handcuffed behind his back when the fatal shot was fired.
I’ve also worked in the past with various federal law enforcement agencies combating international fraud rings that include the notorious Nigerian “419 scams” and until recently, I was also interested in a career in law enforcement. I even went so far as to take the civil service exam before accepting a position with my current employer.
In addition to this, as a writer for Forward Progressives and on my page, I’ve defended an honest member of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol who was unfairly smeared as part of an anti-cop campaign by a Cop Block group.
Keep this in mind going forward in this article, I am not in any way dropping my defense of police officers who are the targets of unwarranted, slanderous accusations by folks who would like nothing more than to see law enforcement agencies disbanded and local communities policed by whatever group has the most guns. Cop Block, Open Carry Texas and others like them are anti-government entities appealing to and duping well-meaning folks across the political spectrum who rightfully believe there is a problem with the overreach of what they see as a police state.
The problem also doesn’t reside with these groups alone as the conservative media (along with some liberal groups) has happily jumped on the issue of police brutality and the responses to it in order to cater to their audiences. They’ve pushed the story that accountability groups are calling for the murder of law enforcement officers and have even blatantly manipulated news footage in order to further that lie.
However, the recent actions of the NYPD and the police union are utterly inexcusable. Not once, but twice, they have turned their backs on Mayor Bill DeBlasio during funerals for two officers gunned down by an individual with mental problems who should have never been able to get his hands on a gun.
Police officers turned their backs on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Sunday during the funeral for Wenjian Liu, one of two NYPD officers killed in a Dec. 20 ambush, exposing the ongoing rift between the department and City Hall.
The officers were seen turning away from an outdoor screen showing de Blasio’s eulogy at the service in Brooklyn, defying a request by New York Police Commissioner William Bratton not to protest at the funeral.
“A hero’s funeral is about grieving, not grievance,” Bratton wrote in a memo to officers on Friday, less than a week after officers turned their backs on de Blasio at the funeral of Rafael Ramos, the other NYPD slain officer. “I remind you that when you don the uniform of this department, you are bound by the tradition, honor, and decency that go with it.” (Source)
The honor and decency that go with wearing a police uniform, this is what the officers of the NYPD have forgotten recently. More than that, some members of law enforcement have bought into the conservative media lie that the majority of people who are upset about what seems to be racial profiling also hate police officers and would love to see them abolished or dead.
We the public have given a huge amount of trust to law enforcement agencies like the NYPD, and while many of them continue to honor their pledge to protect and serve, others have fallen well short. If they want to renew their trust and respect with the citizens of New York and throughout the country, actions like turning their backs on Mayor DeBlasio are a horrible way to start.
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