NYPD Officers Catherine Guzman and Mariana Diaz and two of their colleagues were disciplined for tossing a football to a little boy they encountered in a Bronx housing project, and now Guzman and Diaz are complaining that their punishment was unfair. It sure was—they should have all been fired.
Ha ha, just kidding! Though some NYPD officers probably believe that tossing the child on the ground and frisking him would have been the most appropriate course of action to take in such circumstances, others, like Guzman, Diaz, and their colleagues, regard treating kids with kindness as a form of "community policing" that builds trust in ways that using brute force and intimidation do not. "It was the Fourth of July, it was 96 degrees out and we were interacting with the community," Guzman—a 17-year vet with the force—told the NY Daily News. Adds Diaz: "There's a lot of negativity toward police...I want kids in the community to look at us in a positive way."
The commanding officer of the Bronx Housing Bureau spotted the sporty exchange and yelled at the four officers about "overtime." It's not clear how long the football play lasted, or if the officers "did fail and neglect to remain alert"; those issues will probably come up if Diaz and Guzman successfully appeal their punishment and receive a department trial. So far 93 percent of NYDN readers responding to a poll question about the officers' case agree with their position, which means that only seven percent of NYDN readers know what's good for kids these days (ha ha, just kidding again ... really, it's so hard to stop once you start).