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Opinion: Let Cops Do Their Job

Opinion

Police officer | Image by ALDECA studio

The most important function of government, at all levels, is to provide safety for its citizens. Everything else takes a back seat to one’s physical security. If you’re not safe in the street, in the local supermarket, or even in your own home, what is the point of having a government? As a retired New York City cop, who patrolled, and supervised the streets for 20 years, I have seen the slow erosion of respect for authority. My earliest recollection of that erosion occurred one hot summer night in Bedford/Stuyvesant, known back then as the Harlem of Brooklyn.

My partner and I stopped a black man, who was driving an unlicensed taxi, during an era in which “gypsy cabs,” cars for hire, were operating without the certified approval of the city. As a result, there were some drivers with criminal records who appeared safe to the unsuspecting public but in fact were ex-cons with convictions for violent crimes. After several incidents of rape, robbery, and murder attributed to the drivers of those illegal hacks, the NYPD began a campaign to take them off the road.

In the incident referred to above, as we questioned the driver, a crowd gathered and became hostile when the driver loudly proclaimed that he was being harassed. We called for backup and tried talking to the slowly forming mob, as the combative driver resorted to loud racial accusations, despite the fact that my partner was black. Soon, with several other radio cars on the scene, the mob began to get ugly. With the police radio buzzing with orders from superiors to control the situation, a police line was formed between the illicit driver and the unruly throng of local residents.

Before long, superior officers on the scene received orders from on high, namely, the mayor’s office. Cops were told to “stand down” and not make any arrests. There we stood, a long line of uniformed officers watching meekly as a throng of young thugs started fires in those tall, metal litter baskets on street corners. When they saw no reaction from us, they started kicking the baskets over, spilling the burning garbage onto the roadway. We looked toward a captain on the scene, who merely waved off our consternation.  “Just stay put,” he commanded. We did, providing a reticent form of agreement with their lawless behavior.

All of the foregoing was the precursor to many violent riots that became almost routine across the country when liberal mayors directed their police departments to back off. What the police are dealing with now is a direct result of not following the “broken windows” philosophy of criminal justice. To wit: When minor instances of social disorder in urban areas are ignored, it contributes to an atmosphere of lawlessness that encourages more serious crimes. A quick peek at crime stats today will testify to the wisdom of that philosophy.

Just look at New York for example. A frightening wave of recent incidents involving innocent victims includes a terrifying attack that took the life of a veteran EMS lieutenant on her way to get lunch in a restaurant in Queens. The brutally psychotic stranger knocked her to the sidewalk and stabbed her 20 times for no apparent reason. Thugs are caught on video pushing innocent bystanders onto the subway tracks as trains are approaching. Recently, a shocking video emerged of a homeless man targeting a total stranger at the JFK Airport subway stop. The suspect, with a criminal past that includes the killing of his grandmother when he was 14 years old, repeatedly punched and kicked the mother of two small kids, who almost lost an eye after the vicious, unprovoked beating.

The operative word is “unprovoked.” There once was a time in which a street assault occurred only after some sort of dispute between the parties. Not anymore! People are being randomly chosen as victims of sucker punches to the face, or worse. What’s really scary is that the public is getting so used to seeing this barbaric behavior on video clips that people merely sigh and flip over to a Netflix movie. It’s hard to blame them for not wanting to be terrorized by the possibility that one day they may be the person getting pummeled to the ground while out shopping.

All of this could have been prevented if they’d have allowed the police to do their job without fear of constant vilification by the left-wing gang of radicals that seek to create chaos, then blame law enforcement for being feckless. The fact is that New York, and every other large city, has a well-trained army of crimefighters that could deter this epidemic of slaughter on the streets of our cities. No thug, or gang of thugs, would have a prayer against that army. Another fact is that the decent people in those inner cities want the police to do their job of preventing crime and arresting criminals. Yet, because they fear retribution from the local gangs, they’re afraid to speak out in protest, which makes them hostages in their own neighborhoods.

Meanwhile, the elected officials who give lip service to the problem have plenty of taxpayer-provided security for themselves. That puts us in the inexplicable position of paying taxes to protect those elected officials who won’t do their job to protect us. Moreover, to add absurdity to insanity, they want to disarm the vulnerable while coddling the incorrigible.  Until common sense is restored, the slaughter will continue.

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Ms. Iwonder
Ms. Iwonder
1 month ago

like and sad so true

Mary Bluntzer, M.D.
Mary Bluntzer, M.D.
1 month ago

Anyone who proposes that police be kept from protecting the publc should be put on a list and they will not receive a response when they call police for assistance.

Ronald Reason
Ronald Reason
1 month ago

“There is a road, no simple highway, between the dawn and the dark of night, and if you go, no one may follow, that path is for your steps alone” ― Jerry Garcia

Djea3
Djea3
1 month ago

I would agree with what you have said 100%. However there is another side to everything. The entire nation changed with Kent State Massacre, when We the People began to recognize that police and government are not necessarily here to protect and serve.

I am considered an elderly anglo male. I have had my civil rights violated by police at least 4 times in my life, and a service revolver pulled and cocked on me at 16 years old in a normal traffic stop downtown.

Once the ACLU got involved but believe it or not the police left the ACLU lawyer in FEAR as well. The latest was only a few years ago with clear violation of civil rights and body cams involved, unlawful search ensued on camera. That municipality is under documented notice even today that if civil rights are violated again there will be consequences.

The Supreme Court has stated unequivocally that POLICE HAVE NO DUTY TO PROTECT. Their ONLY job is to investigate and arrest. This is why the founding fathers gave us the 5th AMENDMENT. This is also why the most brilliant of SCOTUS have stated that there is no reasonable cause to ever talk to any police officer without council. BECAUSE nothing you say to any officer will ever change anything the police will do and may harm you even if they did not start out investigating you.

Even in traffic court I have witnessed officers lie about incidences with witnesses, facts, and evidence proving the lies. The Judge did NOT refer the officer for prosecution and the officer can and will lie again in court. He should never be allowed to testify about anything in his life. His partner knew of the lies and made no arrest, neither did he correct the lies. That made the partner complicit in the crime of conspiracy, a felony.

The problem is that police exist in a dichotomy, one that allows them to protect each other from prosecution and attempt to prosecute and harm the public unlawfully, as well as arrest those that more than deserve it. Police regularly add things like “resisting arrest” to EVERY arrest, and make the arrest as a felony when in fact they knew that the felony charge is unsupportable under the law. This is done to “plea down”, sometimes to the charge of resisting arrest ONLY (absurd on its face as one can not be guilty of resisting an arrest that had no charge at all, think about it!).

The real issue is the Law Enforcement/Judicial/Prison/Attorney industrial complex. It needs to be revamped completely. It should never be the third largest industry in the nation!

It sounds as if you wanted to be a great officer. Think about what I have said and decide whether you EVER knew an officer conflated a testimony, or charged a crime that could not be supported, or abused a civil right and you knew and did nothing. EVEN ONE TIME? Therein lies the problem.