By now you’ve seen it. Either on your social media, in shift briefing or on the news outlet that sprays anti-police rhetoric 24/7. The fully uniformed, on-duty New York City police officers having buckets on water dumped on them in a publicly embarrassing stunt by local citizens.
It’s painful to watch. It’s aggravating.
Everyone who has watched that video thought to themselves “Pull that with me or my partner and your day is gonna suck.” Police officers are being assaulted in broad daylight on a public street. One officer is hit in the head with a flying bucket. Officers are soaked, including their emergency gear. Radios, tasers, body cameras. All soaked, rendering them potentially useless.
The same tasers that the public demanded as a less lethal weapon to reduce the number of LEO involved shootings. The same radios that are cited as a first line of defense and requesting backup as so often pointed out by the public. The body cam footage that is always demanded any time a question arises from an interaction with law enforcement. 21st century technology that was requested, fought for, tested and evaluated, put out for bid and purchased with taxpayer dollars.
Ultimately, what was the reaction by the embarrassed NYC police officers?
They walked away.
They simply walked away. They could have acted like humans and enacted vengeance in the street, which many of us would have done.
They could have filed criminal and civil citations against the violators, including but not limited to criminal misconduct, interference with an investigation, damage costs for equipment that might have been ruined. Many more of us would have done that as well. However, that was not the case.
They simply walked away, but the real question is how far? Those officers most likely obtained dry kits and uniforms and went back to work. With that in the front of their minds… how does that affect their next call for service?
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How much do you care for people who care nothing for you? People who would publicly humiliate you for doing your job?
Maybe they’re thinking about how bad they really want this job. Maybe they continue to walk away. And keep walking. Past the squad room. To the transfers desk. Let some rookie have that beat, I’ll catch a different gig. Maybe they continue to walk. Past the bullpen to the HR office. Turn in a resignation notice. Find a better paying 9 to 5 job where no one dumps water on you without provocation. A job you’ll be at home with your kids for Christmas. Is it just those officers? Or is it every officer in NYC who saw that video? Is it every officer who works in the city where the mayor is a constant proponent of the anti-police propaganda?
Maybe more of them will continue to simply walk away.
In 1991, NYC recorded 2154 homicides. In 2018, only 289 homicides were reported. In 27 years Giuliani brought NYC from a nightmare of fear and anarchy to the lowest murder rates since WWII. The police were supported in their efforts to suppress crime, and the results are without question. As this “water-bucket” challenge trend continues and the men and women who wear a uniform every day endure this Kaepernick-era of disrespect, we’ll see more and more police officers simply walk away. From the scene, from the division, from the job and eventually find a new calling.
That’s a sad day. What does that mean for the people of NYC? You’ll see your violent crime rates spike. Homicides, sexual assault, robberies. They will reach and then surpass the rates of the early 90’s. Again, people will be afraid to leave their residence or use the subway. Less cops means longer response times. And apathy from the officers who do eventually show up.
For every single police officer that continues to walk away, the ripple effect is in play. Just pray the ripple doesn’t touch you.
So what happens when every single cop walks away?
Is this the beginning of the end?