As an autonomous collective, let’s try (together!) to do a little NYPD math.
Here’s the beginning of the word problem:
How many cops does it take to choke someone to death?
Officer Daniel Pantaleo. Pantaleo choked Eric Garner to death while “effecting an arrest.” The presumed crime was unlicensed cigarette sales, but no one really knows for sure why Pantaleo decided to escalate the situation by using a forbidden tactic to subdue the non-resistant Garner. And we’ll never know anything else about it because Officer Pantaleo has dodged everything but a firing over his decision to perform an illegal chokehold in the course of detaining Eric Garner to death.
Rather than rally against this illegal use of force, the NYPD union — headed by awful human being Pat Lynch — has decided to demonize everyone who isn’t a Police Benevolent Association (PBA) member. Citizens who are still alive in the Big Apple don’t know how well they have it, being presided over by a bunch of bad apples who labor under the scrutiny of a powerless populace.
“We are urging all New York City police officers to proceed with the utmost caution in this new reality, in which they may be deemed ‘reckless’ just for doing their job,” Patrick Lynch, the longtime president of the Police Benevolent Association, said Monday after veteran Officer Daniel Pantaleo was fired.
“We will uphold our oath, but we cannot and will not do so by needlessly jeopardizing our careers or personal safety,” he added.
The NYPD continues to come under fire water. Minor summertime humiliations, coupled with the firing of a bad cop has prompted the NYPD’s union head to call for a work slowdown.
Another union joined the PBA in its stupidity. Invoking the nonexistent “Ferguson Effect,” the Sergeants Benevolent Association tweeted “PANTALEO EFFECT” because pressing the CAPS LOCK key makes everything true. The threat of cops not doing their jobs doubled as both unions presented a unified front of “not earning paychecks.”
Would there be a slowdown? The police commissioner said “no.” Because no police commissioner is ever going to say “yes,” even if there is a perceivable slowdown.
[Commissioner James] O’Neill said cops are still plugging away.
“It bothers me, but NYPD cops are the best in the country,” O’Neill told ABC 7 on Sunday. “They are going to keep this city safe and they have to, no matter what happens… They are not going to stop doing what they do.”
O’Neill has confidence in officers represented by two unions declaring zero confidence. He says his officers are professionals. The stats say otherwise.
Arrests dropped 27% between Aug. 19 — the day Pantaleo was fired — and Aug. 25 compared to the same period in 2018, with police making 3,508 busts compared to 4,827.
The number of criminal summonses issued fell nearly 29% over the same period, going from 1,655 to 1,181, the figures show.
There was no “organized” slowdown… according to NYPD officers. I can believe that. I can also believe dozens of like-minded cops decided to stop working as hard enforcing the law because they’ve decided to see themselves as victims when one of their own actually gets punished for killing someone. Departments that have managed to turn public opinion against them seem to be filled with officers that think the real problem here is a lack of grateful citizens.
Everyone on the record says nothing has changed. The unions agitating for a slowdown are contradicted (but not very believably) by NYPD officers saying they’re still as dedicated to the job as ever.
The numbers don’t back up the official statements. NYPD officers are doing less than ever, according to the arrest records cited above. But the strangest thing has happened. First, crime has not increased.
Second, the downturn in enforcement has somehow resulted in an increase in complaints against the police.
Complaints against New York City police officers spiked in 2019, rising nearly 20 percent from last year — and new statistics released by the city suggest that cops and civilians cooperating to resolve those cases are having more trouble doing so.
The number of total complaints filed with the Civilian Complaint Review Board — which handles allegations of discourtesy, offensive language, excessive use of force and abuse of authority by uniformed police officers — rose by nearly 1,000 in fiscal year 2019, from 4,392 complaints last year to 5,236 this year, according to statistics released Tuesday in the annual Mayor’s Management Report.
Do less. Screw up more.
“Doing more with less” is an admirable goal. Unfortunately, coupling fewer enforcement efforts with a higher complaint rate suggests the NYPD is doing less stuff right and more stuff wrong. I understand cops may feel like people are out to get them after they kill a citizen, but actual professionals would would act professionally.
Residents don’t want to be paying for increased violations of rights, but that’s what the NYPD is providing instead of protection and service. New York’s Finest are barely New York’s Adequate, if this is how officers are getting work done these days. Any time accountability rears its ugly head, police unions — and the officers they represent — are there to punish the public for demanding these professionals act like professionals.
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