Over the past week, I’ve fielded questions asking my opinion of the infamous videos showing water dousing of New York City Police officers. If you haven’t seen the video, here’s a synopsis; at least three recent incidents show NYPD officers in uniform trying to do their jobs surrounded by men who throw buckets of water on them repeatedly and the officers do nothing.
In one particularly infuriating case, two officers in Brooklyn were drenched and dripping as they meekly walk away without even giving the dousers eye contact, much less any sort of enforcement action. All the gear the submissive officers wore on their fully equipped duty belts were designed to help them take people into custody, yet not one tool was used.
In another instance in the Bronx, not only water was thrown, but the bucket was too, beaning a uniformed officer on the noggin. Again, no response from the assaulted officer, whose reason might be he was busy handcuffing a suspect which diverted his attention.
Through the news reports, we’ve learned the two sheepish officers in Brooklyn have about a year on the job. This fact begs the question; what were they taught in their recruit school? Certainly not command presence or bearing under pressure. I know a leadership failure when I see one and the sight of those rookie cops slinking away is a failure all the way up the chain to those who wear the white shirts with gold stars and ends with Mayor de Blasio.
It would be difficult to near impossible to find a newly minted state trooper departing the Albany academy and likewise a deputy or a cop graduating from the Broome County basic police school acting in such a manner under similar circumstances. My experience with new officers was usually trying to rein in the hard-chargers. I just can’t fathom what must be taught at the NYPD academy these days, but we know it is from the top, down.
The sport of NYPD bashing started in 2014 when Mayor de Blasio condoned, and then encouraged anti-cop protest marches to disrupt New York City traffic and commerce. In case you forgot, one march in Manhattan had protesters chanting the need for “more dead pigs in a blanket.” What we saw with the recent humiliation of the NYPD took years of anti-cop rhetoric to achieve and the progressive left in NYC and Albany are probably gleeful at these results.
Only after public outrage, were some of the miscreants identified and arrested for throwing water. The guy who threw the bucket was arrested but has already been released because in NYC bail is reserved for only serious offenses. (Written in sarcasm font) Don’t forget, bail-as-the-exception will soon arrive in upstate New York in a matter of months. Please don’t believe the people who say it was a sweltering heatwave and the “youths” we just having fun. These were not youths; those doing the splashing were adult males, and coincidently all arrested so far are 28 years old.
Now that these thugs have done this and basically gotten away with it, they will only be emboldened to push their limits further in their next encounter with the police. If someone will do this to an armed officer, what chance does the general public have for their safety? I know I would expect more from the police if I called about someone harassing me, my mother or wife.
The other questions I received in last week were; what should have those officers done in those incidents? First off, they should have been wearing their hats. Yes, it seems trivial, but a cop wearing a hat shows they mean business which commands respect. (How often do you see a trooper without a hat?) Moving on, using last week’s video snippets, what I’ve read and what I know about policing in rough areas, the officers should not have responded with only two cops, but they did. Once the situation went south, the officers should have called for additional help while maintaining verbal and visual contact with those responsible. In New York City, when cops need assistance they have the luxury of near-unlimited manpower when requested.
This should have been stopped at the moment it started. No one wants to be the cop responsible for starting a three-day riot, but if neighborhood punks get this brazen, future encounters will only get worse.
It wasn’t just water dousing the NYPD officers last week; it was the culmination of words and deeds from lawmakers going soft on crime. Politicians were busy creating laws which encourage bad behavior and discourage enforcement, which made any symbols of authority feckless – namely the police. District attorneys publicly stating they will no longer prosecute what they consider “small crimes” while mayors and council members compare police officers to Gestapo doesn’t help matters either. The icing on the progressive’s cake is the early release from prison of several cop-killers lowering law enforcement morale.
This isn’t the bottom for the NYPD because the pendulum hasn’t fully swung to the left just yet. When it does, the Big Apple will be similar to Chicago where the cops go fetal to protect themselves and their paychecks by doing nothing in the way of enforcement which might be video recorded and then made a scapegoat by a vote-seeking official.