As NYPD Union Vows 'Wartime Policing,' Questions Of 'Have We Learned Nothing?'
As NYPD Union Vows 'Wartime Policing,' Questions Of 'Have We Learned Nothing?'
By Sarah Lazare / commondreams.org
Dec 21, 2014

"An eye for an eye is not our vision of justice," declared #BlackLivesMatter in a statement released Sunday

A declaration by the New York Police Department Union that it will engage in "wartime policing" in response to Saturday's killing of two city law enforcement officers has raised alarm among protesters and civil rights advocates, who ask: "Have we learned nothing?"

A statement released Saturday by the New York Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association—the union for the NYPD—reads, "The mayor’s hands are literally dripping with our blood because of his words actions and policies and we have, for the first time in a number of years, become a 'wartime' police department. We will act accordingly."

Steven Thrasher, writing for the Guardian, responds, "Wartime? These are the marching orders to the 35,000 armed members of the biggest police department in the United States. This is the message now sent to protesters around the nation who have been finding novel and peaceful forms of expression to resist oppression—who have been protesting in reaction to police violence, not causing it."

Meanwhile, Pat Lynch, president of the PBA, made the unverified claim at a press conference on Saturday that ongoing protests and mobilizations are to blame for the killing of the police officers, stating, "There is blood on many hands tonight. Those that incited violence on the street under the guise of protest, that tried to tear down what New York City police officers did every day. We tried to warn it must not go on, it shouldn't be tolerated."

But Ferguson Action, a broad, Ferguson, Missouri-based coalition behind mass organized response to police killings and violence, declared in a statement, "It is irresponsible to draw connections between this movement and the actions of a troubled man who took the lives of these officers and attempted to take the life of his ex-partner, before ultimately taking his own."

"Today’s events are a tragedy in their own right," the statement continued. "To conflate them with the brave activism of millions of people across the country is nothing short of cheap political punditry."

New York-based Communities United for Police Reform agrees. The campaign stated, "As the details of today’s shootings continue to come to light, there are people who would seek to exploit this tragedy and use it to condemn the growing national movement to end police violence and discriminatory policing. Attempts to link today’s tragic events with a movement that holds justice, dignity and respect for all as its core values are cheap political punditry, and dangerous in their divisiveness."

 #BlackLivesMatter, which describes itself as "a national grassroots and social media driven movement at the heart of much of the recent mobilizations against police violence," said in a statement"Our hearts grieve with New York, a community already reeling from the losses of Eric Garner, Ramarley Graham, Kimani Gray, Akai Gurley, Islan Nettles and many more. An eye for an eye is not our vision of justice, and we who have taken to the streets seeking justice and liberation know that we need deep transformation to correct the larger institutional problems of racial profiling, abuse, and violence."

The statement continues:

At the heart of our movement work is a deep and profound love for our people, and we are rooted in the belief that Black people in the U.S. must reassert our right to live be well in a country where our lives have been deemed valueless. Together, we champion a complete transformation of the ways we see and relate to one another.   

Now is our moment to advance a dramatic overhaul of policing practices. Now is the time to direct more resources into community mental health services and practices. Now is a moment for empathy and deep listening. Now is the time to end violence against women and trans people. Now is our moment to come together to end state violence. 

"Our movement, grown from the love for our people and for all people, will continue to advance our vision of justice for all of us.  Let’s hold each other close as we work together to end violence in our communities—once and for all.

4.0 ·
1
Trending Today
The Uncurious, Continuing, Stubborn Refusal to Grasp Bernie Sanders
Liam Miller136,082 views today ·
50 Eco-Conscious Documentaries to Celebrate Earth Day (That You Can Watch Online)
Films For Action24,367 views today ·
25 Cheat Sheets for Taking Care of Yourself Like a Damn Adult
Anna Borges13,594 views today ·
10 Quotes From an Oglala Lakota Chief That Will Make You Question Everything About Our Society
Wisdom Pills9,196 views today ·
5 Reasons to Build a Network of Small Groups, Rather Than a Mass Movement of Individuals
Richard D. Bartlett7,309 views today ·
Meet the Teen Inventor Who Wants to Get the Navajo Nation off Coal
5 min7,011 views today ·
We Stand for All Sacred Life on Earth
Joe Brewer4,016 views today ·
Gandhi's Top 10 Fundamentals for Changing the World
Henrik Edberg3,559 views today ·
Why V for Vendetta Author Alan Moore Says You Should Support Jeremy Corbyn
Alan Moore2,871 views today ·
Load More
What's Next
Cops Get "Protected and Served," Don't Like It
Kevin Carson
Cops Are Now Less Cautious Than Soldiers In Iraq
Jonathan Carp
State of Surveillance: Police, Privacy and Technology
28 min
Like us on Facebook?
As NYPD Union Vows 'Wartime Policing,' Questions Of 'Have We Learned Nothing?'