Dear NYPD: 'Just Following Orders' Is Not a Good Slogan

Hundreds of off-duty cops showed up in the Bronx on Friday to protest the indictment of corrupt colleagues on ticket-fixing charges. Among the slogans on their signs: "Just Following Orders." Doesn't that sound... familiar?

Is it a song lyric, or something? Or a commercial jingle? Oh—wait—I remember now! It's the way Nazi officers excused their war crimes. That would make sense! If there's one thing the NYPD is really good at, besides spying on Muslims, framing black people, beating protesters and raping women, it's public relations. After all, what better way to refute charges of systemic corruption and abuse of power than by borrowing your defense from Nazis?

Oof. The ticket-fixing indictments were unsealed yesterday, bringing to light 1,600 criminal counts ranging from the minor (sweeping tickets under the rug) to the major ("helping a man get away with assault"). It's a major scandal, though in most ways it confirms what people already knew about New York cops:

The case, troubling to many New Yorkers because of its implication that the police officers believed they deserved special treatment, is expected to have long tentacles. Scores of other officers accused of fixing tickets could face departmental charges. Some officers have already retired. Moreover, the indictments may jeopardize thousands of cases in which implicated officers are important witnesses and may be seen as untrustworthy by Bronx juries.

Seen as untrustworthy by Bronx juries? Why would cops be seen as untrustworthy, when NYPD is so good at building rapport in the community? Just listen to these heartwarming accounts of the scene at yesterday's rally!

Particularly disturbing, the official said, was a news report that said some officers chanted "E.B.T." at people lined up at a benefits center across the street, referring to electronic benefit transfer, the method by which welfare checks are distributed. The people had apparently chanted "Fix our tickets" to the officers.

[...]

When the defendants emerged, many in the crowd burst into raucous cheers. Once they had gone and the tide of officers had dispersed, the street was littered with refuse.

[NYT, screencap via NY1]