As a huge rally unfolds in Staten Island Saturday afternoon in memory of Eric Garner, who died after being put in a chokehold last month by an NYPD cop, the New York Post has something different to say about New York's boys in blue: three cheers for them, hurrah, hurrah. They're doing their jobs just great!
The Post is no stranger to trolling, and the timing of this op-ed, which begins with "we'll say it flat out—we support the cops," is eye-rollingly deliberate. While many of us reflect on unnecessary cop deaths like those of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, and police brutality that hits endless New Yorkers like Jahmil-El Cuffee, there seems to be little necessity in raising up a system that instead needs wholesale reevaluation. But the Post must know that, right?
Are there some bad cops? No question. Are there police-related tragedies in a city where 35,000 uniformed officers interact with 8.5 million residents 23 million times a year? Who would expect otherwise?
Okay, so it's like you have 35,000 eggs. Naturally, some of them are gonna be rotten. And then some of those rotten eggs are going to wrongfully kill or harm people. All part of the process of buying 35,000 eggs, you know.
But think about what the city asks of these men and women: To walk up a dark flight of stairs in some seedy building searching for armed bandits who might shoot at any moment. To break up gang violence and get weapons off the street from thugs who'd rather not give them up.
And, yes, to improve the quality of life for average New Yorkers.
What the city asks is that cops do their jobs. To protect and serve, the proud slogan of the New York Police Department, does not cover killing a man for selling untaxed cigarettes illegally. Ah, but the Post must disagree.
Which is why the march makes little sense. It was supposedly motivated by the death of Eric Garner (who died after resisting cops who were trying to arrest him for . . . selling illegal, untaxed cigarettes).
It's predicated on the cops' guilt, which Sharpton wants folks to infer mainly on the basis of an edited video. Indeed, he wants folks to indict the entire NYPD on that flimsy evidence.
Sorry: Given all that cops do, we think they deserve at least the same benefit of the doubt that criminals get every day.
The rag argues that the death of Eric Garner was an equal punishment to fit the crime, mostly due to the lack of solid evidence to assess either way. The article goes on to say that the officers did nothing unlawful in the arrest of Garner, despite the fact that chokeholds have been illegal in the NYPD since 1993.
Police brutality and wrongful deaths are not just random occurrences in the NYPD. As long as citizens are expected to do everything cops say, there will always be incidents of mistaken infallibility that will cause harm to the undeserved. The evidence, though near impossible to quantify, is there. You've even told us yourselves.
[Image via New York Post]