The Banality of Blue

After the killing of two cops in New York City, which the police loudly blamed to anyone that would listen on the demonstrations threatening to turn into a nationwide movement of sorts against the tendency of cops to assault & kill unarmed civilians and get away with it, the NYPD via their police unions took up a work slowdown. Their bluster about the dangers of their job and its alleged necessity lest Chaos Reigns And The Streets Flood With Blood aside, what has been the actual result? Plummeting enforcement against such FIENDISH offenses as… Parking violations, public drinking, and drug possession by people not bothering anybody.

Note that this was reported in the NY Post, which is generally known for right-wing sensationalism. I don’t think this makes the point they expected…

The Post obtained the numbers hours after revealing that cops were turning a blind eye to some minor crimes and making arrests only “when they have to” since the execution-style shootings of Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu.

Police sources said Monday that safety concerns were the main reason for the dropoff in police activity, but added that some cops were mounting an undeclared slowdown in protest of de Blasio’s response to the non-indictment in the police chokehold death of Eric Garner.

“When they have to”. That line strikes at the heart of the common defense of the police, that they are in place to maintain basic order. One would think based on how crime tends to be covered in the media, especially by TV news, that the majority of a police officer’s day is spent apprehending and deterring the violent, fighting murderers, rapists & muggers. Instead they show themselves to mostly be hall monitors with guns and uniforms.

About those safety concerns, it should be noted that the killings of Ramos & Liu are the first of on-duty NYPD officers in the past three years. Meanwhile, police brutality has been an issue long before then, as well as rampant racial profiling in the case of New York’s “Stop and Frisk”. Realistically, if that shooting were the result of anti-cop sentiment, wouldn’t those numbers be much higher already? I’d think if police were truly as under siege as they claimed, cops in many cities across the country would practically have to patrol in their own specialized Popemobiles.

Nope, it’s just about power, about maintaining obedience and shutting down any questioning no matter how mild. Which makes the NYPD’s slowdown an epic backfire.

A thought experiment on work stoppage: the timing for this is shortly after Christmas, the run up to which is commonly the biggest time of the year for shopping. Imagine if after the murder of John Crawford at an Ohio Wal-Mart, retail workers across the country had taken up a mass strike… Quite a different result than the police stoppage, huh?

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About b-psycho

Left-libertarian blogger & occasional musician.
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One Response to The Banality of Blue

  1. Joe says:

    Kind of ironic that if they had stopped “working” a few months ago we might not even be having this conversation right now.

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