That cold January day when hundreds of New York City Police turned their backs on Mayor Joe de Blasio in a sign of opposition at the funeral of fallen Officer Wenjian Liu remains more than a distant memory for many. Tensions between New York’s Finest and the Mayor are far from settled.
Now Mayor Bill de Blasio hopes to become the 46th President of the United Stated. Yet, in Wednesday’s debate he resurrected the talking point that he is raising a black son in America.
De Blasio announced:
“I have had to have very, very serious talks with my son, Dante, about how to protect himself on the streets of our city and all over our country, including how to deal with the fact that he has to take special caution because there have been too many tragedies between our young men and our police.”
According to The New York Post’s Yaron Steinbuch, Police Benevolent Association was unimpressed by the candidate’s performance on stage.
PBS President Patrick Lynch said:
“Mayor de Blasio has apparently learned nothing over the past six years about the extremely damaging impact of anti-police rhetoric on both cops and the communities we serve.”
Lynch went on to further point out that by continuing to highlight racial tensions with police, de Blasio was actually putting the safety of NYPD officers in further danger.
“The hostile and dangerous environment we now face on the street is a direct result of the demonization of cops by de Blasio and other elected officials.”
It begs the question if claims of police bias have been substantiated since the many months of heated tension between City Hall and NYPD several years ago.
According to CBS News’ Erin Donaghue, since 2014, the New York City Police Department’s Internal Affairs division has been tasked with 2,495 complaints of biased policing. To date, not a single claim has been substantiated.
Of the 2,495 complaints 1,918 are completely closed.
However, according to CBS News, the New York City Department of Investigation found inadequacies in the process and made recommendations for improvements in areas it felt the NYPD should be more thorough in their investigations.
Inspector General Phillip K. Eure stated biased policing:
“Undermines the core value of equal treatment under the law and also poses a threat to public safety because racial profiling and other types of biased policing undermine the public’s confidence and trust in law enforcement.”
Donaghue further reports that under the process, allegations of slurs were considered claims of “offensive language” and did not qualify as instances of biased policing therefore not triggering an investigation.
Of the 2,395 complaints, about 68% were on the basis of race, ethnicity, color or national origin.
The other 32% were on the basis of other protected classes such as gender identity, age, disability, etc.
According to Donaghue, The NYPD responded to the Department of Investigations report and findings stating that it “understands that constitutional, biased-free policing is foundational to building community trust.”
The Department has successfully outfitted all 22,000 officers with body cameras as well as providing more extensive training. Additionally, the department issued assurances that “The NYPD is committed to addressing misconduct in any form, and has created comprehensive policies and procedures to prevent, investigate, discipline, and monitor any and all instances of biased policing.”
Improvements made by NYPD do appear to be having positive impact. The New York Times reports that complaints of bias policing is down significantly in 2019 from the same time in 2018- an impressive third of the prior year’s complaints.
Understandable that for NYPD officers, the emotions that caused them to turn their backs on de Blasio four short years ago remain fresh.
According to Steinbuch, Police Benevolent Association President Lynch reflected on de Blasio’s words saying “By rolling out that rhetoric again on a national stage, it’s clear he wants to take the country down the same path.”
De Blasio’s comments reflect the general feeling of New York Democrats, who have been railing against President Trump since he was elected.
Take, for example, the move by New York Governor Cuomo on December 31 when he granted clemency to 29 convicts.
Among them were four who were serving long sentences for murder.
Why? Because he seemingly wanted to send a message to President Trump.
In total, 22 inmates were pardoned. Nine more had sentences commuted. Four of those were sentences for murder and three were for armed robbery.
Among those who were given pardons were several immigrants who were facing possible deportation. Now they can be with their families, the governor said.
“These actions will help keep immigrant families together and take a critical step toward a more just, more fair and more compassionate New York.”
That’s right. The governor who just freed those implicated in the deaths of others is talking about keeping families together.
Let’s dive a little deeper into that.
49-year-olds Alphonso Riley-James and Roy Bolus have each served 30 years of their life sentences. They were part of a group involved in a drug deal in Albany that fell apart and left two men dead. That’s a couple of families that are no longer together… because their loved ones are dead.
But the merciful and loving governor pointed out that they were good boys in prison and felt bad about things.
Then there were two other convicted killers who Cuomo says he took pity on because they were crime victims themselves.
When Dennis Woodbine was 19, he was chasing a group of young men who had stolen his jewelry in Brooklyn. He pulled out a gun and shot at them. But he missed and killed an innocent bystander. He’s now 42 and has served about 22 years of a 25-to-life sentence. That poor guy just wanted his stuff back, right?
Then there was 38-year-old Michael Crawford, who was convicted at 17-years-old of shooting an individual who stole concert tickets from him in Buffalo back in 1999. He’s already served 20 years of a 22-to-life sentence. That’s good enough, right?
Then there were the other prisoners convicted of robbery or weapons possession.
They’re now out.
That’s right – the same governor who would like to see his citizens legally disarmed just commuted murder and weapons possessions convictions. Because people who legally acquired firearms are the bad guys… not murderers.
While freeing these convicts, the Trump hating Democrat took a shot at the President.
“While President Trump shuts down the federal government over his obsession with keeping immigrants out, New York stands strong in our support for immigrant communities.”
If you think Cuomo is alone, you’re wrong. As a matter of fact, last week the California Supreme Court rejected California Governor Jerry Brown’s attempts to commute the sentences of longtime prison inmates, including a Sacramento man who beat a man to death back in 1997.
In recent weeks, the court has denied 10 of Brown’s clemency actions. It’s the first time they’ve made such a move in a half century.
On Christmas Eve, Brown issued 143 pardons and 131 commutations. Nine of the 10 inmates who had commutations were rejected had been convicted in homicide cases.
It’s sort of a “thing” for Brown, who has been looking to stick it to President Trump for years.
Last December, Brown granted pardons to two men who were going to be deported for committing crimes while in the U.S. With the pardons, the reason for the applicants’ deportations was eliminated.
The Democrat governor seems to believe in the power of redemption over the power of law enforcement, and has been actively blocking law enforcement officers in his state from cooperating with federal immigration authorities.
He says it’s all about mercy.
But what about mercy for the victims? For their families? For those who follow the law?
And of course it begs the question… if governors are looking out for the illegal aliens… who is looking out for the legal citizens who are being murdered?