As we previously discussed, Friday night saw a rally of roughly one thousand people in Brooklyn, New York calling for violence against police officers and their removal from the metro system. It sounds as if people were listening to the message, as public abuse of police officers has continued through the weekend. People on social media were posting videos of a police cruiser with boxes of garbage piled on top of it and featured residents laughing and mocking the cops on Halloween as they attempted to clear the vehicle off and respond to emergency calls. (Daily Mail)
Video posted to Facebook on Halloween shows a New York Police Department vehicle that was covered with trash while passersby gleefully taunt the officers who were cleaning it up by saying ‘trick or treat, m***** f*****s!’
The amateur video was filmed on cell phone by an individual who passed by the vehicle that was parked on the corner of East 95th Street and Clarkson Avenue in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn…
In the video, a number of residents and passersby are heard laughing and mocking the two uniformed officers who are removing the trash from their vehicle.
‘This is what happens in the hood. Police get trash,’ says the man filming the video.
The cops in the video may have been lucky to get away only with some trash on their vehicle and foul language being hurled at them. This incident took place in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn, long known as one of the most dangerous places in the city, if not the country. Even as crime rates fell across most of the city, the gang-infested streets of Brownsville remained among the worst in Gotham. This year, that one neighborhood accounted for more than 70% of the shootings in the entire borough.
The police are getting pretty fed up with this situation and some of their union leaders have begun openly questioning whether the city’s new “community policing program” could be causing this surge in anti-police activity. This project started in 2015 under Mayor Bill de Blasio in the wake of Eric Garner’s death, and it was certainly well-intentioned. It called for the appointment of “neighborhood-coordination officers” who spend part of their day trying to build relationships with community members rather than answering emergency calls.
The problem that seems to have emerged is that such an effort mostly works where there are plenty of people who tend to obey the law to begin with. They’re more willing to interact with the cops and discuss law enforcement priorities and procedures, even if they had grown suspicious of the police in the past. But when neighborhoods like Brownsville and East New York are basically overrun with gang violence, you’re not going to find too many people willing to come out and chat with the cops.
Once word gets out on the streets that the cops have “gone soft” and aren’t going to retaliate as much, those already opposed to the cops will be bolder in harassing or even attacking them. As I wrote in the last column, it’s tough to see how we resolve this situation. There’s a temptation to say that the cops need to go back to seriously busting heads and keeping people in line but that seems like a lost cause in 2019. Even if a gang member initiates the violence, if the cops are beating him down, somebody will film that part of the incident, post it on Facebook and then CNN will run it on a loop for weeks.
I’ll just repeat one other warning that I’ve brought up in the past. Law enforcement is the thin blue line that stands between order and chaos. When respect for and support of the police disappear, mob rule follows. And in a place the size of the Big Apple that could turn very ugly very quickly.