Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Westb-rough B-ptist Ch-rch and the N-w Y-ork P-lice Dep-rtm-ent.

If you wonder about the hyphens in the title -  I use them to try to escape from folks who troll the net and make nasty comments.


Many of us have been greatly disturbed at the actions (or threatened actions) of some members of the infamous antigay  Westb-rough B-ptist Ch-rch, who have demonstrated at funerals (including funerals of military men and women who were killed in action).

There has been a consensus "across the board" (right-centre-left) that funerals are not the place to make political statements.

With that consensus in mind,  I suggest that the actions of some members of the NYPD (and other forces)  at the funerals of recently murdered NYC police officer are equally indecent.

One of the NYPD unions is convinced that the Mayor of New York City is insufficiently supportive of their service.  That union leader appears to believe that Mayor De Blasio should have unequivocally condemned public witnesses (demonstrations) against "out of line" cops.

Mayor De Blasio is well aware of our constitutional freedoms (such as they are), and he is well advised to support the rights of public assembly and of freedom of speech, even as he expresses appropriate public sympathy, outrage  and concern at the murder of those two policemen.

The Mayor's delicate tightrope walk is not enough for certain members of the NYPD who wish that he would in some way or another be opposed to those who protest against police brutality.

With that in mind they have, in  recent days,  "boo'ed" the Mayor, and turned their backs on a large-screen monitor of the Mayor's comments at a funeral of one of the slain officers. (Turning one's back at a T.V. monitor is a bit childish, n'est pas?)

It seems to me that their actions are utterly disrespectful of the men who were slain, and of their grieving family members.  Surely that shared grief should have trumped their political disagreements with the Mayor. 

Surely we all agree that funerals are not the place to make political statements - whether by members of the  Westb-rough B-ptist Ch-rch, or by members of the N-w Y-ork P-lice Dep-rtm-ent. 

Bear in mind that the NYPD is in contract negotiations with the City of New York.

There must be a way by which we can be supportive of Law Enforcement Officers,  whilst we also assert the right of ;peaceful protest against infringements on our liberties.

It is essential to assert that all Law Enforcement officers must operate under civilian oversight, lest we allow the police to be a law unto themselves:- which will be a journey towards a Police State.

FYI 

(1)  I have a nephew-in- law who had to leave the (London) Metropolitan Police Force  following his serious injury,  (he is now blind in one eye), at the hands of a recalcitrant arrestee.

(2)  I have a great-nephew who has recently joined that same (London) Metropolitan Police Force.

(3) I respect them highly.

(4) See the following for some information about violence towards cops in the U.S.A.



 From “The Atlantic”  (Internet edition January 2015)

Here's Radley Balko quantifying those "risks" police officers face:

Policing has been getting safer for 20 years. In terms of raw number of deaths, 2013 was the safest year for cops since World War II. If we look at the rate of deaths, 2013 was the safest year for police in well over a century .... You’re more likely to be murdered simply by living in about half of the largest cities in America than you are while working as a police officer.

Nearly half of those deaths are from automobile accidents. Balko is somewhat frustrated that despite the empirical facts around policing, nothing seems to penetrate the narrative of police living under constant threat. Why? Is it that most people are just basically ignorant of the information? Is it that most people just believe, uncritically, what police officers tell them?




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