The Blood on the Hands of the NYPD and the New York Post
On Saturday May 2nd, Brian Moore and his partner, both plainclothes officers, approached Demetrius Blackwell in the quiet neighborhood of Queens Village. According to the NYPD, the officers saw him tug at his waistband and asked if he had something tucked inside. Seconds later, he showed them first-hand as he pulled out his gun and opened fire on the officers. Brian Moore was shot in the head, and would later die from his injuries. Blackwell had a history of erratic behavior, which included yelling and spitting at police, violent altercations with other non-officers, and a five year prison sentence for attempted murder.
When Moore’s family made the very tough decision to take the young officer off of life support, the media immediately reported on Moore’s “selflessness and courage”. Indeed, he had received two police service medals in his short career. All flags at city and state offices are being flown at half-mass until his funeral on Friday, JetBlue is offering free tickets to his funeral, and the New York Mets held a moment of silence before their game two nights ago. This is all understandable, as Brian Moore truly did not deserve to die. In fact, the two plainclothes officers were right in stopping Blackwell, who is now facing fifteen years in prison. There didn’t seem to be any racial profiling involved, and the incident is certainly a reminder that even if police don’t have the most deadly job in America, they still take a risk each day they put on their uniforms and patrol the streets.
Bill De Blasio made a statement, honoring the life of this officer:
“Our hearts are heavy today as we mourn the loss of Police Officer Brian Moore. For five years, Brian served with distinction and he put his life on the line each day to keep us all safe. On Saturday, he made the ultimate sacrifice in service to the people of New York City. During this tragic time, New Yorkers must come together to support the Moore family in any way we can, and on behalf of a grateful city, Chirlane and I extend our deepest sympathies to the Moore family and to the entire NYPD family.”
Yesterday morning, on the early-morning MSNBC show, Morning Joe, De Blasio made another respectful statement:
“I’ve gotten to know, his record was extraordinary, the kind of young police officer you can only dream of, a family of police officers who gave so much to this city. I spoke to his father last night, it was heartbreaking because the father had raised his son the right way and now we’ve lost him. I think New Yorkers feel this very, very deeply, and Brian Moore is someone we should all emulate.”
Both De Blasio and the City of New York’s twitter account display a NYPD logo with a dark blue stripe:
It is clear that the New York City government, major corporations, sports teams, and media outlets truly honor and respect Brian Moore. However, leave it to the New York Post, the depressed little brother of Fox News, to politicize Moore’s murder. Michael Goodwin posted an article late last night, titled “Sharpton, de Blasio, Obama only love cops when convenient”. In the sad excuse for journalism, Goodwin proves that he is a disgusting sub-human opportunist, as he highlights the remarks made by the three men in Moore’s memory, claiming that these politicians only respect the police when they are mourning their deaths.
He continues with a potential scenario, where Blackwell missed with his shots and then the officers killed him in self-defense.
“In that case, the City Council might have called a hearing on police shootings, Sharpton might have led a demonstration, and Moore and Jensen might have been likened to the KKK, while Blackwell would have been portrayed on CNN as a troubled man trying to turn his life around.”
Obviously, this is ridiculous. Let’s recap: did Eric Garner have a gun?
What about Ramarley Graham?
What about Amadou Diallo? Shantel Davis? David Felix? Akai Gurley? The list goes on. By making the above statement, Goodwin is minimizing the push to end stop and frisk and prosecute police officers who kill the citizens of New York City. This has nothing to do with Brian Moore, or Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu for that matter, the two officers killed by Ismaaiyl Brinsley in December. In fact, I would make the argument that the lives of police officers are actually respected far more than normal citizens in our society. Were flags at half-mass for Eric Garner? Did hundreds of media outlets immediately tout his character?
No, in fact these same right-wing outlets smeared his character through the mud, trying to insinuate that he actually deserved to die. Even worse, police blogs like PoliceOne.com featured many comments that celebrated the fact that Daniel Pantaleo didn’t face charges, even though he choked Garner to death in front of a camera.
Where is Pantaleo today? What about Darren Wilson? How about the countless other officers who have killed unarmed people all across the country? They are free, which is why thousands of protesters are out in the streets seeking justice for victims of police murder. Conversely, When an officer is murdered, justice is almost ALWAYS served, unless the aggressor commits suicide, which was the case with Brinsley. Demetrius Blackwell will certainly do time for murdering Brian Moore, so what is the issue?
The plain and simple truth seems to be that these right-wing news outlets, such as the New York Post, only care about white lives, and police officers who patrol these street corners everyday only care the safety of their fellow officers. To further drive the point home, who can forget when De Blasio decided to actually face the reality of racism that exists in America, highlighting the rift between minority communities and those who are, at least in theory, supposed to “protect them”. Do you remember this quote:
“Chirlane and I have had to talk to Dante for years, about the dangers he may face. A good young man, a law-abiding young man, who would never think to do anything wrong, and yet, because of a history that still hangs over us, the dangers he may face – we’ve had to literally train him, as families have all over this city for decades, in how to take special care in any encounter he has with the police officers who are there to protect him.”
This was probably the most truthful statement we have heard from a politician in New York City in decades. Of course, Patrick Lynch, head of the Patrolman’s Benevolent Association, immediately jumped on De Blasio:
“What police officers felt yesterday after that press conference is that they were thrown under the bus, that they were out there doing a difficult job in the middle of the night, protecting the rights of those to protest, protecting our sons and daughters and the mayor was behind microphones like this throwing them under the bus. He spoke about, ‘we have to teach our children that their interaction with the police and that they should be afraid of New York City police officers.’ That’s not true, We have to teach our children, our sons and our daughters, no matter what they look like, to respect New York City police officers, teach them to comply with New York City police officers even if they think it’s unjust.”
After Liu and Ramos were murdered outside those Bed-Stuy projects, he went even further:
“There is blood on many hands tonight — those that incited violence on the streets under the guise of protest, that tried to tear down what New York police officers did every day. That blood on the hands starts on the steps of City Hall, in the office of the mayor”
He claimed that just because DeBlasio expressed his personal experience of having a black son in America, these officers’ deaths were now on his shoulders. Furthermore, he also placed the blame on thousands of protesters who were peacefully marching in the streets for justice, rather than on the one lone wolf. Just because Brinsley decided to use the names of Eric Garner and Mike Brown on his Instagram post hours before the murders, the fault was completely on the protesters and the mayor.
It is truly disgusting, and really represents why many people don’t respect police officers in New York City. In a metropolis where the couple of officers killed every few years receive complete justice and praise, and killer cops are never indicted for murdering us on the streets, these thugs paint themselves as if they are all somehow victims. Meanwhile, the Mayor’s Fund raised $120,000 for the families of Liu and Ramos, and De Blasio made a respectful speech about their lives:
“It is an attack on all of us. It is an attack on everything we hold dear. We depend on our police to protect us against forces of criminality and evil. They are a foundation of our society, and when they are attacked it is an attack on the very concept of decency. Therefore, every New Yorker should feel they too were attacked. Our entire city was attacked by this heinous individual.”
Despite all of this, hundreds of officers turned their backs on De Blasio as he made the speech at the funerals of these men.Once again, it is apparent that these officers only protect each other, and despite all the media rhetoric that codes black people as “thugs”, it is those who wear the blue uniforms that are the actual gang members as they continue to kill with impunity.
What needs to be understood, something that Al Sharpton, Bill De Blasio, and Barack Obama all realize, is that it is possible to feel injustice at the verdict of the Eric Garner grand jury case, and also feel saddened when a police officer is murdered in the line of duty. The same cannot be said for the New York Post or Patrick Lynch.
If anyone lacks the ability to respect the lives of others it is the New York Police Department and their supporters.