I’m not going to beat around the bush here. It is time for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to resign. Yesterday’s assassination of two of New York City’s finest was only the latest and most devastating brush stroke on a canvas which has been coming into focus for months. When you are the mayor of a city you have many responsibilities, but one of the most vital (in terms of maintaining a functional societal structure) is the mandate to enforce the laws and maintain social order. It is the same for mayors everywhere, as well as governors and presidents. But currently, the state of relations between City Hall and the New York Police Department has devolved to the point of complete dysfunction, and criminals are well aware of this state of affairs. The fault for the creation of this toxic atmosphere is essentially found solely at the feet of Mayor de Blasio.
Former Governor George Pataki summed up the situation correctly:
— George E. Pataki (@GovernorPataki) December 21, 2014
So caustic is the current state of relations between the Mayor’s office and the police that a shocking and dismaying scene took place in the wake of the horrific assassinations. When de Blasio arrived at the hospital yesterday, the uniformed officers literally turned their backs to him as he walked by. And this was at a moment when, in more normal times, they should have been rallying to the leadership of the executive.
The Mayor can not pretend that he has failed to see what was going on in the streets leading up to this horror. While he has been cloistered with those fomenting violence and rebellion against law enforcement, we know that he has been made aware of this video. In it, he has seen his own citizens marching in the hundreds and chanting, “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? Now!”
The Mayor must surely be aware that this is not constitutionally protected free speech any more than shouting “Fire!” in a crowded movie theater. That is incitement to riot and mayhem. When chants like that are erupting in the streets, you do not tell your cops to put on body cameras. You tell them to put on body armor. You do not hear those calls to tear down the fabric of civilization and tell your cops to get out of the way. You tell them to get out the water cannons. You do not hold secret meetings with the protest leaders to tell them how sorry you are that your police officers are so awful. You hold public meetings with your police officers and tell them that the executive branch of the city government has their backs and that they have the full support and resources of the city in doing the dangerous and necessary work they do every day. You do not remind those calling for the murder of police officers that you feel their pain. You reassure every citizen that they will be protected and that they not only live in a nation of laws, but a city of laws as well, and that those laws will be enforced regardless of whatever social unrest is taking place. And if that means that the laws are enforced at the end of the baton, the riot shield, the tear gas canister or even the gun, so be it.
In short, you stand up for the men and women who enforce order and keep intact the thin veneer of civilization. You remind the public that without proper order and respect for the rule of law, our civil society degenerates into chaos and no citizen will have any measure of protection from those who would set themselves up as criminal lords, ruling over the weak and the innocent by means of terror and murder.
The Mayor has utterly failed in this duty. As a result, law enforcement has lost faith and trust in City Hall and the system has veered dangerously toward the type of dysfunction which opens the door to anarchy. We saw that anarchy yesterday on a street corner in Brooklyn, and Officers Ramos and Liu paid for it with their lives. It is difficult to see how any amount of apologies, platitudes or carefully crafted speeches will heal this rift. The Mayor should step down and let someone else shoulder this responsibility.