Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Police officer statements about lack of support by public officials are particularly shrill

Black Lives Matter graffiti on a Georgia Avenue storefront.

Obviously, I do not condone assassination of police officers, but the way that representatives of police officer associations in NYC are making out Mayor de Blasio as a supporter of such oppositional actions in the face of the recent demonstrations about police officer killings is over the top.

From the New York Times article, "Before Shooting Two Officers, Gunman Bragged About His Plans":
Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, laid the blame for the deaths of the officers squarely at the feet of the mayor. “That blood on the hands starts on the steps of City Hall, in the office of the mayor,” he said.

For weeks, ever since a grand jury declined to indict a white police officer in the death of Mr. Garner, many police officers have talked about feeling as if they are under siege. Former Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, speaking on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, said the antipathy stretched back to the campaign, after Mr. de Blasio ran on what Mr. Kelly called an “anticop” platform. The distrust was exacerbated, Mr. Kelly said, when Mr. de Blasio spoke publicly about how he talked to his son, Dante, about the dangers he could face when dealing with the police.
The police have to take responsibility for how they are perceived.  Fairness at the hands of the state is the basis of trust in people and government.  Police officers are authorized to use deadly force.  But deadly force isn't the right response in every instance when the police are called out to duty.

And if police officers are going to reflexively defend every instance in which they've used deadly force, then they shouldn't be surprised when (1) the people lose their faith and trust in police officers and (2) when elected officials, who are _elected_ by _the people_ not usually by police officers, are responsive to the concerns of the people.

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At 8:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The rhetoric sounds like something you'd expect to hear from the Middle East. I'm not anti-police, but Lynch's comments show just how tone deaf they can be sometimes. Anytime they're not showered with adulation and treated like normal people they get very testy.

At 9:45 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

Police (and fire) officer unions also play a disproportionate role in local election campaigns and funding. It's quite problematic.


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