NYPD Takes a Page from the Westboro Baptist Church

by lizard

What the hell does the NYPD expect to accomplish by taking a page from the Westboro Baptist Church and using the funeral of officer Ramos to further escalate tensions in their political war against the Mayor’s office? Chief Bratton is trying to do some damage control, but it’s yet to be seen if his words will have any effect. At least he’s trying:

De Blasio has faced expressions of open hostility from New York’s police unions since two officers were killed last weekend. On Saturday a cordon of officers turned their back on the mayor’s image as it was being screened outside Christ Tabernacle church in Queens, where de Blasio was addressing the funeral of one of the murdered officers , Rafael Ramos.

Bratton condemned the silent protest of the police officers. “I certainly don’t support that action,” he said. “That funeral was held to honor officer Ramos, and to bring politics into that event was very inappropriate.”

Today Democracy Now featured a NYPD officer, Adhyl Polanco, speaking out about what’s going on in New York City. Here is a portion of the interview:

AMY GOODMAN: Your reaction to your fellow officers turning their back on Mayor de Blasio, not in the church, but outside, because there were so many, they couldn’t all fit in the church?

ADHYL POLANCO: Absolutely wrong, absolutely wrong. Mayor de Blasio came to the police department, that had a lot of issues with before he got to this police department. Mayor de Blasio came with the attitude that “I can fix this police department.” But this police department has a culture that is going to make whoever tried to change that culture and life impossible, including the mayor. It’s absolutely wrong to turn their back on the mayor. It absolutely don’t show—this is not what we’re made of. This is—I was not taught—you know, this does not represent the police department. This does not represent how, when a family calls for peace and unity, you’re going to have a hundred officers doing the absolute opposite.

AMY GOODMAN: Do other officers feel as you do?

ADHYL POLANCO: There’s many. There’s many officers that feel like I do.

It takes true courage for someone in Officer Polanco’s position to come forward. Within the 7th largest army in the world, I hope there are more people like Officer Polanco.

It’s too bad the insurrectionary faction of the NYPD don’t understand their actions will inevitably make their job more dangerous. Or maybe they don’t care. Maybe another tragedy is something this faction knows they can exploit to—to what? Enact regime change in NYC?

Whatever the motivation, the effect will be further escalation.

  1. Anyone with half a brain can see the exact resemblance of the Westboro protests and the silent distain of the officers.

  2. Craig Moore

    What is their motivation you ask? I offered this before, but apparently you didn’t read it. http://www.politico.com/story/2014/12/bill-de-blasio-113755.html

    The bad blood between the NYPD and de Blasio is nothing new — it dates back to an election campaign centered on de Blasio’s withering criticism of the Bloomberg administration’s stop-and-frisk policy, and his close alliance with the Rev. Al Sharpton, who has organized scores of protests targeting cops over their behavior toward urban blacks.

    According to a former de Blasio aide, during the general election campaign in 2013 de Blasio’s team was even convinced that members of his police detail were eavesdropping on his private conversations in his city-assigned car. Things got so bad that de Blasio, according to the staffer, would step into the street to make sure he was out of earshot of plainclothes officers.

    The low-boil contempt for de Blasio, which has been building for months, erupted publicly on Saturday when dozens of cops turned their backs on the mayor as he arrived at the Brooklyn hospital where the bodies of officers Wenjian Liu, 32, and Rafael Ramos, 40, had been taken.

    In a sign of the growing strain, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton told the “Today” show on Monday morning that the murder of the officers was the “direct spinoff” of protests against police violence — and added that police-community tensions were the highest since the 1970s. That infuriated de Blasio allies. An emotional de Blasio appeared later in the day at a Police Athletic League event, seeming jarred by the turn of events. His message, however, was now the same as Bratton’s: Protests could wait until after the funerals for the two men had passed…

    The blue rage isn’t rooted in any one statement de Blasio has made against cops — in fact, he has been universally supportive of the rank-and-file in his public utterances. But in his past roles as a public official, he’s often sided with the victims of police brutality, and he recently told an interviewer that he has told Dante, his teenage mixed-race son, not to reach for a cellphone around officers because it might put him in danger as a “a young man of color.” He took the unusual step — unimaginable under the mayoralties of Giuliani or Michael Bloomberg — of inviting Sharpton to City Hall, seating him opposite Bratton at a table where the activist proceeded to strongly denounce the police. (“If Dante wasn’t your son, he’d be a candidate for a chokehold. And we got to deal with that reality,” Sharpton said to de Blasio as Bratton looked on.) Last week, de Blasio privately met with organizers of the Garner protests, another moment that antagonized police.

    But the action that turned off cops most of all was his defense of City Hall staffer Rachel Noerdlinger, a longtime Sharpton aide whose son and boyfriend posted anti-police messages on their Facebook accounts. The boyfriend allegedly tried to drive a cop off the road in Edgewater, New Jersey, and later pleaded to a lesser offense, according to the New York Post. The mayor stood behind Noerdlinger for weeks until her son was arrested for trespassing — and even then he didn’t fire her. When she left her job, City Hall officials said she was on leave.

    “His words and his deeds don’t match,” said veteran cop reporter Leonard Levitt, who runs NYPD Confidential, a website fed by tips from inside the department and widely read by the rank and file. “You had Noerdlinger’s son calling cops ‘pigs’ and de Blasio doesn’t think that’s inappropriate? What message are you sending? De Blasio says it’s just the union guys who are angry. It’s not. It’s everybody. I’ve been covering this for 25 years and I have never seen anything like it. … The mayor doesn’t have a clue.”

    Perhaps Liz that’s something you and the mayor have in common with your “Whatever their motivation…”

    • lizard19

      perhaps, Craig, you can read the beginning of the post again. I asked what these cops hope to accomplish by exploiting the funeral of their fellow officer. I get that they’re upset with the Mayor and with protesters who for some weird reason don’t believe police should be able to kill people with total impunity. so what do these insurrectionist cops hope to accomplish? De Blasio got elected, which means the majority of voters want him as their Mayor. the NYPD, if they were a professional department of adults, would see that their methods of expressing their anger is only going to exacerbate the situation. are they trying to make the situation so bad that De Blasio resigns. that’s my guess.

      anyways, your support of their tactics is duly noted, Craig.

  3. steve kelly

    “Complicating the debate is the fact that there is no reliable national data on how many people are shot by police officers each year. Federal officials allow the nation’s more than 17,000 law enforcement agencies to self-report officer shootings. That figure, Lowery reported, hovers around 400 “justifiable homicides” by law enforcement each year.

    Several independent trackers, primarily journalists and academics who study criminal justice, insist the accurate number of people shot and killed by police officers each year is consistently upwards of 1,000 each year, Lowery reported.” http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2014/11/24/fbi-reports-27-cops-were-killed-last-year-but-how-many-civilians-were-killed-by-officers/

    Goodman, like most “journalists” took her eye off the ball with purpose. Another lesson in media’s preemptive role in the daily activity of national brainwashing.

    Everyone has a right to protest. Goodman and the vast majority of her colleagues have a job to do and a target audience to distract. Apparently, that can’t be done by covering both (ordinary citizen and police) protests?

  4. Turner

    In today’s AlterNet, there’s a story by Max Blumenthal explaining the relationship between the NYPD and Republican groups intent on embarrassing the mayor and maybe driving him from office. The cop protests are orchestrated not spontaneous.

    I haven’t figured out how to post a link here.

  5. lizard19

    here’s a link to the piece you reference.

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