How thugs get away with dumping water on NYPD cops
Although I have witnessed firsthand the precipitous decline in the quality of life in the Big Apple (please see here, and trust me: it has only gotten worse), even I was shocked to see footage of uniformed New York City policemen being drenched with water and attacked with flying objects by laughing and jeering residents of Harlem. Although many have attempted to explain the causes of this utterly outrageous and disgraceful scenario, noting the atmosphere of disrespect for police and the damaged police morale, courtesy of New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, one glaring factor has been absent from the conversation. In fact, the concluding section of the Harlem video footage demands further explanation, as we view policemen actively ignoring the repeated dousing of water all over them, as they slowly walk soaking wet to their patrol car, heads down, as if they are not allowed to react to the grave offenses committed against them.
Remove "as if" in the above sentence, and you have the answer.
Not only have de Blasio and his City Council decriminalized a serious selection of quality of life violations in New York City, but de Blasio has instructed police to call off drug raids, not to arrest for low-level crimes in schools, and not to arrest narcotics suspects below age 40 or subway fare evaders — while hooligans who brutally attack NYC police are not even charged (!). Please also see here and here; it is gruesome.
It is eminently clear that the NYPD officers who were assaulted and humiliated by jeering crowds in Harlem were under orders to be passive and not react. Rather than enforce the law and instill fear of its violation, de Blasio has implemented "neighborhood policing," which boils down to police being under order in many cases not to respond to or confront aggression, as well as to reduce arrests. Whereas the proactive Stop-and-Frisk policing of the Giuliani and Bloomberg years rightly intimidated potential offenders, the NYPD has now itself been handcuffed and made subject to abuse by the lowest elements of society.
The Talmud teaches: "Pray for the welfare of the government, for if people do not fear the government's authority, members of society will swallow each other alive." Obviously, it is important that the government be pleasant to deal with and kind, but the absence of a sense of authority is a deal-breaker. De Blasio has stripped his police department of its authority, and the disgusting jeers, insults and abuse directed toward the policemen in Harlem are Exhibit A of the mayor's wayward and reckless policy.
The Talmud teaches another, related lesson: one who is merciful to the cruel is in effect cruel to those who are merciful and decent people. By handing the keys of the city to the criminals and treating the police force as suspects, who need to be subjected to extreme control and who dare not execute the law, while treating criminals with kid gloves, de Blasio has manifested a sense of cruelty to those who seek to protect. In short, de Blasio's policies are tantamount to abuse toward the police.
What this all boils down to is a case of misfocused justice. Rather than target the hoodlums for committing crimes, NYC's mayor is determined to target police for how they treat perpetrators and suspects. De Blasio has made internal police compliance the focus of criminal policy, rather than addressing street criminals as the primary concern. It is this warped sense of priorities that engenders the above problems.
Aside from de Blasio setting the city back decades, lowering the heightened quality of life and feeling of safety that was achieved in the Giuliani and Bloomberg years, his twisted value system hearkens back to the incident of Bernard Goetz, who in 1984 shot four hooligans on a New York City subway as they were about to mug and assault him. Rather than focus on the actions of the criminals, the city placed Goetz in its crosshairs, charging him with the commission of all sorts of felonies. Who should be the focus of the criminal justice system — the criminals or those who must deter them?
The truth has yet again come out about Bill de Blasio and the "progressive" left, and it ain't pretty.
Avrohom Gordimer serves on the editorial board of Jewish Action magazine, is a staff writer for the Cross-Currents website, and is a frequent contributor to Israel National News and a host of other publications. He is a member of the Rabbinical Council of America and the New York Bar, and he is also a senior rabbinic fellow at the Coalition for Jewish Values. By day, he works as an account executive at a large Jewish organization based in Manhattan. The views expressed in the above article are solely those of the writer.