Saturday, December 27, 2014

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio: You Own This

Today, a gathering of police officers, from across the United States and Canada, collectively turned their backs, while New York City mayor, Bill de Blasio, gave a eulogy for slain NYPD officer, Rafael Ramos. I’m pretty certain this will be repeated when Officer Liu is also eulogized.

There are many who are outraged by this act, calling it disrespectful.

I respectfully disagree.

I am not a fan of the mayor, I find fault with many of his beliefs and actions. However, that is something I can say with just about every mayor that has held office in New York City. You see, I was born and raised in the city and gave twenty years of my life to the NYPD. They were my ultimate boss; my commander-in-chief, so to speak. Even the darling child of the right, Rudy Giuliani, made my list when he graciously gave us double zero’s on our contract, after we had set record levels of crime reduction in the city.

However, while I am willing to give most mayors a pass when we don’t see eye to eye on an issue, I will always take exception when they turn on the police department they are supposed to lead. My reason is simple: they are the last line of defense the city has and they deserve the support and backing of their boss.

Former New York City Mayor, Ed Koch, knew exactly how important the NYPD was for the city. I worked for Koch and he was loved by the cops. He told all his successors that you must have the support of the cops and he was right. This is a lesson Mayor de Blasio seems to have turned a deaf ear too.

Mayor de Blasio drew the proverbial red line in the sand with his comments following the Eric Garner grand jury decision. The truth is Garner died as a direct result of resisting arrest. This is all a matter of undisputed fact. The 6’4”, 300lb man, who had a criminal history dating back to the 80’s, informed officers that he was not going to comply. When he did this, he took responsibility for setting into motion a series of events that led to his demise. Unfortunately, the man was asthmatic, something he probably should have considered before he resisted arrest.

Whether you agree or not, our society has laws in place for a reason. If you disagree with an arrest, you do not have the right to resist. The argument, as to whether an arrest is lawful or not, is one that should be taken up at court, not out in the street. Garner made a conscientious choice to not comply and this decision cost him his life.

What happened after that is what brings us to the present day action. Mayor de Blasio voiced his beliefs, and those comments were directed at the NYPD, not the criminal.

His statements were concerning alleged abuses of stop-and-frisk, a comprehensive plan to retrain the entire NYPD to reduce the use of excessive force, changing the policy to reduce low-level arrests, and launching a new pilot program for body cameras to improve transparency and accountability.  All of which seemed to place the blame squarely at the foot of the police department. If that wasn’t enough, he even commented on how he and his wife had talked to their son about encounters with the police.  

Call me crazy, but I believe that it is the height of hypocrisy when you denigrate a department that you depend on to provide security for you and your family.

When the unrest erupted in the city, he seemed to take sides with the protesters, giving them reign to run amok in the city, adding fuel to a fire that quickly grew out of control. Was it really any shock when the chants of ‘What do we want? Dead Cops! When do we want it? Now!” began to emerge from the crowds?  

Mayor de Blasio pandered to a base, never expecting what would happen, but that does not relieve him from responsibility for his comments and actions. I believe in my heart that he deserves the backlash he is getting. The old adage 'you reap what you sow' comes to mind.

But lately, it seems that alI that I have been hearing is excuses about 'who' didn't do this, or 'who' didn't do that. I am continually amazed at the level of hypocrisy that emanates from those on the left. They seem willing to lay blame so quickly, for causes they hold dear, but they are immediately incensed when the get a dose of their own medicine. Somehow all of de Blasio’s past rhetoric has been conveniently forgotten.

I’m sorry Mr. Mayor, the fact is, you don’t get to ride the anti-police bandwagon as it suits you, and then, when something happens, pretend you weren’t involved. The left may not want to admit it, but words do count. Obviously the rhetoric being spewed about freely by politicians, pundits and protesters resonated well enough with the murderer of PO’s Ramos and Liu.

Now, when the cops have had enough with their boss and his comments, somehow it is now disrespectful when they turn their backs on him or when the PBA president makes statements about the mayor’s actions.

It’s kind of ironic to me that, when de Blasio asked the protesters, whom he had previously supported, to refrain from protesting during the funerals, they thumbed their nose at him and said no. I guess that disrespect is acceptable.

The problem is, it's a two way street. If the protesters get to have their say, so do we.

De Blasio made a horrific error in judgment, he chose to make his camp among those who only seek to tear down and destroy. He is not the first politician to err, but his legacy will be determined by what he does going forward.

Being a police officer in the nation’s largest city is a seemingly thankless job. The men and women of the New York City Police Department are willing to do that job, but they want, and deserve, a leader who will stand by them.

My suggestion to the mayor is that he learns from this mistake and immediately issues a mea culpa to the members of the Finest police department in the world. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


I can understand why the average person might believe that we have a problem in this country between the citizens and their police. It seems to be the battle cry that we hear from the ‘peaceful protesters’ whenever we turn on the news. That along with the other lovely chant of: “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? Now!

It seems that the politicians, pundits and protesters are more than willing to trip over themselves in order to flock to any city in the US to throw the spotlight on the despicable ‘racist, killer police officers’ that seem to pervade out society.

At times I struggle to understand why the United Nations has not deemed it appropriate to send in the blue helmets in order to restore order and vanquish this menace.

Then I remember that it simply isn’t true.

You see, when you peel away the façade, and look at the facts under a clear lens and not the tainted ones that the ‘activists’ and our alleged leaders would have you view them, you begin to see a different picture, one that stands in stark contradiction to the vitriol that is being spewed forth. You see, just because you scream it at the top of your lungs doesn’t make it true.

There are approximately a half a million sheriff’s deputies and police officers that patrol our streets nationwide. That doesn't include detectives and senior ranking officers. That is just the number of officers assigned to the front lines, responding to your calls for help.

The total population of people living in the U.S. is three hundred and twenty million. Consider for a moment that this equals one officer for every six hundred and forty people. That is staggering.

Of the total population, there are approximately thirty-nine million African-Americans living in the United States. 

In 2013, three hundred and twenty people were killed by the police. Of these, approximately ninety of them were African Americans. This means, there is less than a 0.0001% overall chance of a person in the US being killed by the police. If you are an African American, that number climbs to only 0.00023%.

Statistically, you have a better chance of being struck by lightning as you do being killed by the police.

So exactly where is this epidemic? Where are all these unarmed dead people that the police allegedly keep killing?

Here is a statistic that we should really be concerned about. The 2013 FBI Uniform Crime Report, a compilation of annual crime statistics, shows the data: There were 6,261 blacks killed in the United States. Ninety percent of them were killed by black offenders.


That is very sad. No, strike that, it is tragic!

So where are the protests by the concerned activists and protesters?

Personally, I’m waiting for when they all board the buses and head up to Chicago. Lately, it has been particularly brutal up there. 

How brutal you ask? Well, consider that over the last decade there have been over four thousand murders in Chicago, nearly 75% of which were blacks and of those, 75% of the offenders were black. Then consider that this number is nearly double the amount of soldiers killed in Afghanistan over the same period of time. Statistically, it is twice as safe to be a solider, in an active war zone, then it is to be a male black in Chicago. So where are those same activists who want you to believe that the police are the problem?

Newsflash: They won’t go to those neighborhoods because they are afraid of becoming victims themselves. You see, the only ones brave enough are the police, the very same police who are being vilified…… can you feel the irony?

The fact is the racist, killer cop mantra is a lie. It is told by those who look to fan the fuel of racial discord in order to line their pockets. Inner city crime does not generate money, power or news; if it did they would be tripping over themselves to intervene.

So what about these racist cops in New York City?

Well, according to the most recent demographics of the department, fifty-three percent of the NYPD is white and forty-seven percent are members of minority groups. Not really all that earth shattering, but, when you look at the actual front line, patrol officers (22,000+), the numbers actually flip. Fifty-three percent of patrol is minority!

So when the minority cops respond to a call are they still racist? Yes, they are. You see, those preaching the bullshit honestly don’t care what color the cop is, they only see one color: blue.

Ironic huh?

The sad truth is this: the only ones who care about crime in poor neighborhoods are the victims and the police.

You know those racist, killer cops.

You see, unlike those screaming their catchy little lies for the news cameras, I worked there; I’ve seen the death and devastation firsthand. I never did see any of the alleged ‘rev’s’ running around protesting, as some poor child’s blood poured out into the street.

Every day I strapped on a vest and gun belt, and then went into harm’s way with my fellow officers. We did not go out on patrol to harm, but to help. During the twenty years I spent with the NYPD we lost eighty-three members in the line of duty. They died trying to protect the very citizens who vilified them.

Right now, on Christmas Eve, there are officers on patrol. They have said goodbye to their families and have put themselves in harm’s way.

They are the thin blue line that stands as societies only protection from the evil that lurks in the shadows.

If you plan on making war with them, then you better plan on making peace with the criminals. 

Is anyone ready for a road trip to the Englewood section of Chicago?

Monday, December 22, 2014

Open Letter to the Police Critics

To the politicians, pundits, and everyone else who seem to know so much about police work and how the job should be done. I challenge you, if you know so much, set aside what you are doing, put on the uniform you seem so know so much about, and walk some of the streets I have walked, alone, like I did.

Listen to vile comments of the residents, whom you are there to protect. Who despise you, not because of anything you have done, but because of what you are wearing. You will learn what racism is truly about.

I want you to share your experiences with me. Tell me how it felt to have someone point a gun at you or have some savage throw a battery off the roof at you. Not for anything you have done, but for what you represent.

Hold a mother in your arms as she grieves over the loss of her child, not at your hands, but at the hands of a criminal. Just another nightly statistic not worthy of a mention on the 11 o'clock news.

Live with eight hours of man's inhumanity to man, then go home and try to shield the pain and hurt in your eyes from your family. Listening to their 'complaints' while trying to block out the image of the dying child's last gasps.

When you have done that, I would be more than happy to listen to you tell me how to do the job better. Until then, why don't you try sitting safely on the sidelines with your mouths shut.

You see, you don't know me. You don't know anything about who I am or what I am capable of, but I know you. You are one of the protected. A sheep who lives his life in tranquility, because I, along with my brothers and sisters, are willing to put ourselves between you and the wolves who lie in wait.

We listen to your criticisms, yet when the time comes, and the wolves attack, you run away, while we run towards them. You hide behind the very people you seem to despise because you know that we, unlike the wolves, will not turn on you.

We are the thin blue line that separates you from the danger. On Saturday, that line grew a bit thinner when we lost two of our brothers, but not our resolve. We will not yield that line, we will not falter, despite the baseless accusations and vile rhetoric that you spew forth. We will uphold that oath we took, to the last man and woman.

Then, when the day comes that we are no more, you will truly learn who the real enemy was.

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." - President Theodore Roosevelt (NYC Police Commissioner, 1985)

Sunday, December 21, 2014

An Execution in Bed-Stuy

It’s five a.m. as I write this. I gave up sleeping several hours ago as I have wrestled with this and the nausea that has gripped me since I first heard the reports of the execution of the two NYPD police officers in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn yesterday.

The NYPD lost two brave, young men whose only crime was that they had the audacity to choose to put on the uniform of the finest police department in the world. Last night, a 3rd officer in the Bronx was spared a similar fate when a man pointed a gun at him at point blank range and pulled the trigger.  Fortunately, the gun didn’t fire and they were able to disarm him.

This was all precipitated by an incident at one of the peaceful protest marches. A professor from Baruch College in NYC was arrested after he attempted to throw a metal garbage can off the upper level of the Brooklyn Bridge onto NYPD officers on the roadway below. While attempting to arrest him, other protesters intervened and two NYPD Lieutenants were assaulted.  They were knocked to the ground where they were punched and kicked in their faces by numerous people who also attempted to steal their portable radios so they could not summon assistance.

It was during the same period of protests where chants of “What do we want? Dead Cops! When do we want it? Now!” where heard emanating from the assembled throng.

Over the weeks and months I have watched as a parade of politicians, activists, news pundits and protesters have bashed law enforcement unmercifully. In many instances these peaceful protests have been nothing more than a cover for criminal activity. Where people, acting in a completely debased and savage manner, assaulted, pillaged, burned and called for the deaths of racist police officers.

Yesterday they got exactly what they were looking for.

Of course there will be screams and condemnations. They will claim that this isn’t what they really wanted. That they only want peaceful protests to bring to light their perceived injustices and allegations of racism.

You want to see real racism? Look at the bodies of the two dead officers and understand that they were killed simply because of the color of their uniforms.

Everyone, from the President of the United States to the Mayor of New York City; from the media talking heads to the charlatan community activists, are complicit in the deaths of these two officers. You cannot stand before crowds of people, egging them on, and then, when something happens, pretend you didn’t ask for it. Your actions are like those of a man, handing out free gasoline to arsonists, who then acts shocked when they use it.

To all you celebrities and athletes who had the nerve to walk around with your hands up, or wear shirts, all I can say to you is that you are an utter disgrace.

Here is the truth: Both Michael Brown and Eric Garner were both engaged in criminal behavior at the time of their deaths. That is undisputed fact.

Immediately prior to the shooting, Michael Brown had committed a robbery. When he was stopped by the officer he engaged in a physical confrontation and assaulted the officer. He also tried to disarm the officer and was shot. Michael Brown then began to flee and was pursued by the officer. Officers are charged with upholding the law and he did not have the option to simply let Brown flee. Brown stopped and turned around and by witness accounts he rushed back toward the officers in an offensive manner and was shot fatally. Toxicology reports confirmed he had marijuana in his system.

Michael Brown was 6’4” and 290+ pounds. To put that in perspective, he was bigger than then the average weight of an NFL Defensive Lineman.

The problem with the protest chant: ‘Hand’s Up, Don’t Shoot,’ which became the clarion call of the protesters, was based on a lie. Michael Brown never had his hands up. If he did, he would still be alive.

Prior to the attempted arrest of Eric Garner, the man was engaged in selling loose cigarettes. While many would claim this to be a ‘minor’ charge, the issue is that the police were acting on a history of prior complaints. The fact is that initially, the officers had simply instructed Garner to leave. It was Garner that elevated the incident.  Garner’s own admissions of “every time you see me, you want to mess with me. I'm tired of it. It stops today” indicated that he was drawing a line. Unfortunately, the police enforce the law. We don’t say “oh, you’re breaking the law, but you want me to leave you alone, okay.”

The truth is Eric Garner had an extensive arrest history dating back to 1980, including assault, resisting arrest, and grand larceny. In addition to those charges, there were multiple arrests for selling unlicensed cigarettes. Eric Garner was not simply standing on a street corner, innocently minding his own business. He was breaking the law, perhaps a minor one, but a law that police officers are required to enforce nonetheless.

Eric Garner was 6’3” and 350+ pounds. To put that in perspective, he was bigger than then the average weight of an NFL Offensive Lineman.

The protest shirts: ‘I Can’t Breathe’ became the new catch phrase of the protesters. But the reality is that if Eric Garner had simply put his hands behind his back when instructed, and not made the conscientious decision to physically resist arrest, he would still be alive.

There was no illegal choke hold applied. You only have to look at the video to see that. Garner was subdued and held down because he had been resisting arrest. To all of those who got their police training by watching re-runs of Law and Order, I challenge you to try and take a 350lb man into custody who doesn’t want to comply. When you get him on the ground, you keep him there so he doesn’t get back up and fight you again. Maybe Garner should have thought about the ramifications before he made the choice to resist.

Despite the claims and inferences, by those who seek to fan the flames of racial discord in this country for personal gain, neither man died as a result of police racism. They died as a direct result of their criminal activities.

No, the two men who died as a result of racism, borne out of the false rhetoric callously spewed out by the perennial rabble-rousers, were Police Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu. They were killed simply because they were blue.

The media will now wring their hands with feigned remorse, ignoring the fact that those same hands had just recently been used to fan the flames. The politicians and activists will attempt to back track their positions, saying it really isn’t their fault, and scamper back into the darkness.

And just before Christmas, two families, including a young, 13 year old boy, will bury their heroes, all because of the color of their uniforms.

Fidelis Ad Mortem

Note: In 2014, as of this writing, the number of officers killed in the line of duty stands at 112, up 10% from 2013. That averages to about one line of duty death every three days. Where are the protest marches for the war on police officers?