By Steve Pomper
Over the weekend, Fox News reported two NYPD police officers were allegedly shot in two separate incidents and, police believe, by the same suspect. Around 8 a.m., officers were in an NYPD patrol van when the suspect fired into the vehicle. During the apparent assassination attempt, a bullet struck one officer in the neck. Reportedly, the round barely missed a vital organ. The officer has been released and is expected to recover fully.
Within hours, the second attack came at the 41st Precinct in the Bronx. Seen in a video, the 45-year-old suspect (gets no publicity here) walks into the precinct, produces a 9 mm pistol, and fires shots toward officers standing at the other end of the lobby.
An NYPD lieutenant can be seen going for cover as he is shot in the shoulder. Reportedly, the Lieutenant returned fire but did not strike the suspect, who was taken into custody. The lieutenant has since been released from the hospital. Prosecutors have charged the gunman with attempted murder as well as other crimes.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, the worst mayor for cops in America (though he has some stiff competition), issued a statement that I doubt he will follow up with any concrete actions that will assist police. If you want to waste your time reading it (time I’ll never get back), you can find the quote in the above links.
Hollow speeches such as this given by anti-cop politicians in the wake of such shocking circumstances illustrates the chasm existing between cops and their political leaders. I can’t tell you the number of officers over the years (I was one) who told each other (and family members), “If I’m killed in the line of duty, I do not want the police chief/commissioner/superintendent, mayor, governor, or fill in the blank, to attend my funeral.” Why? Because of that official’s anti-cop views and policies.
These most recent incidents are eerie reminders of two similar incidents in 2014 and 2017 where, respectively, scumbags assassinated three NYPD officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, and Miosotis Familia while they were sitting in their patrol vehicles.
As with Mayor de Blasio’s hollow words following these most recent incidents, officers don’t want to provide these officials with a platform to slaver more insincere words on a grieving audience. In fact, one day after that piece of filth killed Officer Familia, Mayor de Blasio left the U.S. to attend the G-20 Summit in Germany. Shouldn’t he have stayed in the city to show respect for the officer—all officers—and to comfort the family (rhetorical question alert)?
But this was not a surprise to New York’s Finest. According to The New York Post, thousands of officers turned their backs on Mayor de Blasio during Officer Ramos’ funeral. “In a gradual wave, the assembled cops nearest the screens and speakers on Myrtle Avenue in Queens began to about-face, until the entire sea of blue stretching two blocks had their backs to the image of the city’s leader.
So, now you have the New York City mayor who is once again saying the right words, like calling it an “assassination,” but who will not follow it up with any cop-supporting actions. And NYC’s cops know it.
The Sergeant’s Benevolent Association (SBA) tweeted, “Mayor DeBlasio, the members of the NYPD are declaring war on you! We do not respect you, DO NOT visit us in hospitals. You sold the NYPD to the vile creatures, the 1% who hate cops but vote for you. NYPD cops have been assassinated because of you. This isn’t over, Game on!”
Incidentally, while I was writing this article, my editor asked me to appear on behalf of the National Police Association (NPA) on a CBS News broadcast to comment on the NYPD shootings and the effect negative rhetoric nationally may have had. At the end of the segment, the CBS reporter, regarding the SBA tweet, says the tweet “has not been deleted.”
My colleague, fellow retired police officer and NPA contributor Stephen Owsinski commented, “‘The CBS News reporter’s final words before cutting back to the studio struck me: ‘That tweet has not been deleted.’ Why would it? The police are not the cowards.”
Interestingly, one of the questions the CBS reporter asked me, in the 10 to 15-minute interview, of which about 10 seconds was used, was what media could do to create better relations between the public and police. How about they start right there. Air the question and then let the audience hear the cop’s answer.
And back to the SBA tweet, what does the CBS reporter’s comment imply? Doesn’t it imply a belief the tweet should be deleted? Otherwise, why say it? Doesn’t it show the CBS reporter believes the tweet was inappropriate?
The CBS implication is that the SBA went too far and, perhaps, is the one who’s inflaming the divide between the cops and city hall. But from my perspective, NYPD’s police unions have been remarkably reserved compared with what the anti-cop city and state leaders deserve. That’s because cops err on the side of serving the people while anti-cop politicians err on the side of serving their own radical, partisan political ideology and agenda.
And, like Owsinski at NPA asked, “Why would it [be deleted]?” Remember, we’re discussing only a pair of incidents, but the undercurrent of turmoil in the NYPD over the lack of support from the mayor and other leaders that’s been occurring for years has become a tsunami.
CBS asked me what politicians can do to make things better for the cops? This was not aired, but I told them these politicians (like Mayor de Blasio) aren’t going to change. It’s up to the voters to change the politicians, if they want to make things better—safer—for cops.