Welcome to the Divided States of America. A place where a small group of people vote in a group of additional do nothings to assist the do nothings already in Washington gridlocking the town and those same folks will complain when nothing is getting done there. If that wasn’t bad enough, you then have the public court of perception when high profile or questionable police-civilian incidents occur. Where Monday morning quarterbacks, ultra liberals, anarchists, and opportunists, without waiting for facts or evidence to surface, take to the streets and play on the emotions of those who are feeling super disenfranchised to “peacefully” protest.
Peaceful protests in the case of Ferguson, MO after the non-indictment of Officer Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, resulted in a number of local businesses being burned to the ground, massive looting, a number of injuries and arrests and a general state of chaos. In New York City, what started off as mostly peaceful throngs of aimlessly wandering protests through Manhattan have recently become more violent with a recent set of physical attacks on police officers, notably two lieutenants trying to stop a protesting “professor” from throwing a garbage can off the walkway of the Brooklyn Bridge. Well that sounds awfully peaceful doesn’t it ? Nothing says lets honor the memory of a local citizen like grabbing a few pairs of sneakers and a bag of potato chips. Wanting changes to be made to ensure better police interactions gets muddied when you assault the officers who are attempting to facilitate a mass protest, which because it is an unplanned demonstration is now clogging major arteries potentially putting lives at risk if emergency vehicles need to get to a fire or hospital, but hey – Who cares right? We shut down a bridge to say F*ck the police and it felt sooo good! (Sorry heart attack patient trying to make your way to Bellvue Hospital…)
Clearly there are some folks who have a real serious bias against the police (these posts were after a CNN Special on “Ask A Cop” where people could get an insight to what police do):
— Cassandra (@CassandraRules) December 17, 2014
If you support blue-clad para-military thugs who murder unarmed people please unfollow me. #FuckThePolice
— Iphinome (@Iphinome) December 17, 2014
Recently, after the Staten Island Grand Jury decision to not indict the officer involved in the Eric Garner incident, I did a series of media rounds on BBC, CNN, ABC and FOX (NY) TV. I was on BBC Radio and TV on their “World Have Your Say” program, a couple of appearances on CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, a couple of small spots on local NY stations Fox 5 NY and ABC 7’s Eyewitness News (NY) and an interview on ABC 7 ‘s (NY) Sunday morning program “Up Close with Diana Williams”. Having nearly 22 years of service in the NYPD I bring a lot of different angles to the table not only through my time on the street as a patrol officer, community policing/beat officer and some plain clothes work, but also having a deep training background as a police academy instructor and working for the Chief of Community Affairs as a citywide community liaison and crime prevention specialist. My attempt was to bring a better level of education and transparency of some of the methods behind the madness of policing on the part of the NYPD so that people could better understand why police do what they do.
I obviously acknowledge that the NYPD and police in general are not perfect – I don’t know any agency in any profession that is. I have said that there is always room for improvement when it comes to training, no doubt about it. I have also said that police are a subculture within our overall culture which means new officers are bringing 20 or 30 or 40 years of socialization to the table which meshes in with 6 months or so of training in which the police department hopes to resocialize them to act in the most courteous, respectful and professional way when they graduate and go out to do good for king and country. The majority of the time it works very well and sometimes it doesn’t. There are clear cases where officers have abused their authority, used excessive force, and some who have done just outright illegal activities which marr the outstanding work that the majority of officers do 24 hours a day 7 days a week.