Quotes of the day

Hundreds of police officers turned their backs on a screen showing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio as he spoke at the funeral of one of two officers killed last week in what has been called an “assassination.”…

Sgt. Myron Joseph of the New Rochelle Police Department said he and fellow officers turned their backs spontaneously to “support our brothers in the NYPD.”…

After directing his remarks to the Ramos family, he said he wanted to “extend my condolences to another family — the family of the NYPD — that is hurting so deeply right now.”

Asked about the mayor’s response to the police officers turning their back, spokesman Wiley Norvell said: “The Ramos and Liu families, our police department and our city are dealing with an unconscionable tragedy. Our sole focus is unifying this city and honoring the lives of our two police officers.”


NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton told Meet the Press Sunday morning that the rift that has developed between Gotham Mayor Bill de Blasio and the police department was going to be a long time in healing.

“I think it’s probably a rift that’s going to go on for a while longer,” Bratton said. “The issues go far beyond the race relations in this city. They involve labor contracts, a lot of history in this city that’s really different from some of what’s going on in the country as a whole….There’s a whole series of local issues that are impacting on our ability to move forward.”

“But we will be making that effort,” he continued. “We have to make that effort. We have no other recourse.”


City Council members took to the streets in New York to block traffic in solidarity with the demonstrators demanding changes in policing. The Council speaker opened a meeting of her fellow Council members with a call to utter the protest mantra, “I can’t breathe,” the final words of a Staten Island man killed by a police chokehold. And last Friday, the mayor sat down with leaders of the demonstrations, heeding their appeal for a face-to-face meeting even as they vowed to continue disrupting the city…

Then, on Saturday, in the seconds it took to shoot two officers dead in Brooklyn, the ground shifted beneath the marching feet of the thousands of people who had made New York the center of protests over the killing of unarmed black men by the police…

On Monday, the group Ferguson Action tweeted, “The N.Y.P.D. wants to use this tragedy to silence this movement. Not gonna happen.”

“Once we were asked to cease our protests, that was affirmation that we could not cease,” said Ms. Yates, 29, who lives in St. Louis but joined protests in New York after the Staten Island grand jury declined to charge a police officer in Mr. Garner’s case.


Nine men have been arrested in connection with alleged threats made toward New York police since Saturday afternoon, when two NYPD officers were shot in the head from behind while sitting in their patrol car, authorities said.

Police said this week that they have assessed hundreds of online postings and calls to 911 and pressed the public to continue to report any suspicious activity…

Among the other arrests this week, a 26-year-old allegedly posted pictures of weapons on his Facebook page along with threats to kill police officers, NYPD spokeswoman Sophia Mason said.

The man’s Facebook post indicated that he wanted to kill two police officers, NYPD Detective Annette Markowski said. He was charged with making terroristic threats.


A man overheard at a bank threatening to kill a police officer was a step away from making good on his threat, a prosecutor said, and he was held on $500,000 bail after police said they recovered weapons and bulletproof vests at his home.

Elvin Payamps was arrested Wednesday after police responded to a call from a Queens bank customer who became alarmed as he listened to Payamps talking on his cellphone, a criminal complaint said. The customer, according to the complaint, heard Payamps say: “I’m going to kill another cop. We should do it before Christmas. The cop should have been white that was killed. I always have a gun on me.”…

Payamps, who’s Hispanic, was captured Wednesday afternoon in his BMW with a bag of marijuana, police said in the complaint. A search of his home turned up a semi-automatic pistol loaded with eight bullets, a 12-gauge shotgun with a defaced serial number, brass knuckles and two bulletproof vests, police said.


A south suburban man [in Chicago] who, according to prosecutors, posted on Facebook earlier this month that he wanted to “kill as many cops and unarmed white kids as possible” and kept a makeshift shooting range in his basement was ordered held in lieu of no bail in Cook County court on Saturday…

Additional statements he posted included, “We are organizing right now. The movement is real. This must happen for change to occur,” and “Keep your kids close to you,” according to Mack.

A search warrant executed Dec. 26 at his residence uncovered a .45 caliber handgun with two loaded magazines and 20 live rounds, and an additional 111 live rounds, 207 spent shell casings and 31 spent rounds, according to court documents.

Mack said authorities also discovered a makeshift shooting range in [Aries[ Woodfin’s basement made with a deep freezer and sandbags with 50 bullet holes in the side of it.


“With us being black officers, we get a double punishment because we feel the brunt of what happens to a police officer,” Officer Shireff, 52, said. “At the same time, it’s equally hard for us when we see a young African-American is killed at the hands of a policeman.”

At times they find themselves defending police procedures to fellow blacks who see them as foot soldiers from an oppressive force. At other times, they find themselves serving as the voice of black people in their station houses, trying to explain to white colleagues the animosity many blacks feel toward law enforcement. Life for black officers, many say, has long been a delicate balancing act…

Nowhere is that tension more palpable for black officers than in New York. Detective Yuseff Hamm, who wanted to be a police officer since he was a child in Harlem, said he initially could sympathize with people protesting the killing of Mr. Garner, who died after an officer placed him in a chokehold in July.

But the ambush killing of the two officers on Saturday changed his view. “In the beginning you could understand it,” said the detective, who is also president of the Guardians, a fraternal organization of black New York City officers. “But now, actively threatening to hurt a law enforcement officer and actually carrying it out — we’re in a difficult time right now.”


Blacks and whites live in different worlds when it comes to perceptions of the criminal justice system and the role that police play in society. But divisions within the white community are almost as stark, with opinions heavily shaped by partisan identification and ideology, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll…

Only 1 in 10 African Americans says blacks and other minorities receive equal treatment with whites in the criminal justice system. Only about 2 in 10 say they are confident that the police treat whites and blacks equally, whether or not they have committed a crime.

In contrast, roughly half of all white Americans say the races are treated equally in the justice system and 6 in 10 have confidence that police treat both equally.

But white Americans are hardly homogenous in their views about these issues. While 2 in 3 white Republicans say minorities and whites are treated equally in the criminal justice system, only 3 in 10 white Democrats agree with that view. Similarly, while more than 8 in 10 white Republicans say they are confident that police treat blacks and whites equally, half as many white Democrats share that opinion.


“The cops are too aggressive,” Darren Fisher, 25, said two days later, as he stood outside another housing project in a different part of Brooklyn, a Miami Heat baseball cap pulled down over his head. “No matter what, they feel like they’re above the law and nothing ever happens to them.”…

In particular, fierce opposition grew during Bloomberg’s mayoralty toward the department’s widespread practice of “stop and frisk,” in which officers routinely detained hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers — most of them African American and Latino men…

“It’s absolutely right that New Yorkers were deeply grateful and respectful of the police in the post-9/11 era,” said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. “But the Bloomberg administration squandered the good will and support that New Yorkers felt by adopting extremely harsh and excessive policies.”…

“Our crime rate has gone down, and that’s great,” she said. “But at what cost? It can’t be by any means necessary.”


Law-enforcement officials are appalled at the way the Obama administration exploited tragedies in Ferguson, Mo., and New York City to appeal to its political base. David Clarke, a Democrat who is the African-American sheriff of Milwaukee, doesn’t mince his words.

“The thing that disappoints me the most is some very powerful people in this country — the president of the United States, Attorney General Eric Holder and Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York — have created a pathway that contributes to an unjustifiable hatred of law enforcement officers across the country,” he told WMAL radio in Washington, DC. “They trashed an entire profession with a broad brush because it was politically expedient for them to do so.”…

For Sheriff Clarke, all of this fits into a pattern. “I think these two [President Obama and Attorney General Holder] have indicated their dislike of the police even if it’s in coded language.” He notes that in the wake of the killing of two cops last weekend in New York, Mayor de Blasio and others are now issuing “contrite statements about how they respect and admire our law enforcement officers. I think it’s hollow. I don’t accept it.”


President Obama might offer plenty of praise for American police at some times, but his friendly associations with Al Sharpton and comments at other times add up to contempt for police officers, Rudy Giuliani says…

“You make Al Sharpton a close adviser, you’re going to turn police against you,” Giuliani said. “I saw this man cause riots in New York; I’ve heard his anti-police invective firsthand. To have a man who hasn’t paid $4 million dollars, to have a man who’s spent his career helping to create riots and phony stories about police, to have that man sitting next to you speaks volumes. Actions speak louder than words.”

“You put Al Sharpton sitting next to you,” Giuliani said, “you just said you’re against the police.”

“If I talked to you about fighting the Mafia . . . as I did in the 1980s, and I had [Mafia boss] Joe Colombo sitting next to me,” Giuliani said, “you would say I was a big hypocrite. It wouldn’t matter what my rhetoric is: ‘Oh, I’m fighting the Mafia.’ There’s Joe Colombo. ‘I’m for the police?’ There’s Al Sharpton. Every cop in America’s going to say, give me a break.”


The “Hands up, don’t shoot!” slogan is a fraudulent rendition of the Michael Brown shooting, but it is clearly political speech presumably intended, however wrongheadedly, to advance policy arguments about institutional racism and police brutality. It may not be forbidden. The state does, however, have the power to forbid it from being yelled outside my bedroom window at 2 o’clock in the morning. And it has a duty to forbid it from morphing into calls for killing police and a license to shut down major thoroughfares — such that police, fire-fighters, and ambulances cannot respond to emergencies, people cannot get to their jobs and homes, and merchants cannot operate their businesses.

People who organize mobs knowing full well that eruptions of violence are foreseeable are culpable when violence erupts. You want to say they are not guilty of murder? Fine, but that should not absolve their contributory responsibility for the loss of life that predictably occurs. The same goes for others who incite the mob: those who call for the killing of cops. They are not equally as culpable as the murderer. That’s why our law punishes murder more harshly than it does incitement. But those who incite are proportionately responsible — and when what they are inciting is atrocious, they should be regarded as atrocious, too.

Public officials also bear responsibility because they have special duties. They are keepers of the order that must be assured if liberty is to thrive. They are not like the average 21-year-old anthropology major bemoaning the police because “black lives matter” — notwithstanding that the cops protect millions of black lives while the nitwit student protects none. When public officials signal to the mob that its anger is so justified that its criminal behavior, even if not exactly condoned, will be rationalized, minimized, or ignored, they are facilitating criminality. So of course they should be deemed contributorily culpable when the criminality happens.

To say that the mayor, the attorney general, and the president are not guilty of last weekend’s murders of two police officers is not to say they are blameless.


Via NRO.


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