Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Blame Game Over NYPD Deaths Has to end - Washington Post Editorial Board

The blame game over police deaths in New York goes too far - The Washington Post
by the Editorial Board

"The [two] officers [Ramos and Liu] are being mourned and celebrated in New York and across the country, as they should be. But their deaths also have been improperly used in a political debate. Republican politicians, such as former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, and police union leaders in Baltimore and New York have blamed the killings on people protesting police tactics after civilians were killed by officers in Ferguson, Mo., Staten Island andelsewhere....those who have protested the killings of Eric Garner, Michael Brown and others bear no responsibility for the twisted mind and crimes of Mr. Brinsley, who committed suicide after killing the two officers. On the contrary: It is in the long-term interest of the police, as well as of the communities they serve, to shape reforms that might reduce the incidence of police violence while still valuing officers’ safety and fighting crime.

As Eric Adams, Brooklyn borough president and a former police captain, told the Times, “Calling for reform is not a call for harm of police officers.”

Not so many years ago, everyone seemed to be celebrating the “broken-windows” method of policing, which held that refusing to tolerate small infractions such as graffiti would reduce the incidence of more serious crime, too. Now protesters are calling for less aggressive enforcement of misdemeanor offenses, which they say sweeps too many poor, minority men into the criminal justice system. Finding the right balance won’t be easy. It’s made more difficult by inflammatory, unsupported rhetoric like that of Mr. Giuliani."

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