This story is from the weekend, but I wanted to circle back to it as it seems to be emblematic of what’s going on in New York City these days in terms of the ability of the police to maintain order in the Big Apple. Early Sunday morning, the police were dispatched to a scene were gunfire was reported. Upon arriving at the Harlem neighborhood where the report originated, they were greeted by the sight of hundreds of people having some sort of party in the streets. But rather than helping the officers look for any possible shooter in the vicinity, dozens of partygoers began pelting the police cruisers with rocks, bottles and garbage. The cops were so badly outnumbered that there was virtually nothing they could do to address the original report. (CBS2 New York)

There was a tense scene in Harlem early Sunday morning after NYPD officers responding to possible gunfire had bottles and other debris thrown at their vehicles.

CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge spoke to a few people that were at an outdoor afternoon cookout and gathering, which started Saturday night and went into the early morning hours.

They said the incident was not related to protests, and the party was peaceful for hours.

But cellphone video taken at around 3:45 a.m. shows the scene getting tense when police showed up. Bottles and garbage are seen being thrown at police cruisers.

The report of gunfire wasn’t sent in by one of the residents. It was an automated report from the ShotSpotter system that detects the sound of gunfire and pinpoints where it’s coming from. Because of that, we’re not entirely sure if there was gunfire at the party or not, but the cops did wind up recovering shell casings at the scene. The police cruisers wound up having to retreat from the area. This led to even more complaints from the police unions about Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “light touch” approach to policing the various neighborhoods in the city. Some video of the incident is included.

Between then and today the situation has deteriorated further. Our Townhall colleague Julio Rosas has been reporting from the city and keeping tabs on the attempts by some locals to set up their own “CHAZ” area. Check out some of the photos and videos he’s managed to capture. You’ll particularly want to take note of the places where the “peaceful protesters” have decorated their own streets with phrases such as “NO PIG ZONE” and “NYPD SUCK MY D***.” Simply charming.

The entire concept of community law enforcement has always relied on the assumption that the vast majority of residents are law-abiding and support law enforcement because they know it keeps them safe. Otherwise, the number of police officers in any given area could always be overwhelmed by the masses they are there to serve and protect. We’re watching that system break down in New York City, Seattle and other locations. Unfortunately, the thin blue line is being undermined by liberal politicians and media figures who reinforce messages about defunding the police and blaming society’s ills on them.

If we see much more of this you won’t have any measurable police presence on the streets. And then you’ll really get a look at what a world without police looks like. Just don’t come out to our suburbs with this nonsense. Most of us are armed and if you won’t help the cops keep us safe, someone else will have to fill the role.