Police lives matter. Let’s demonstrate it nationally.
Michael Brown and Eric Garner died resisting arrest. Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu died doing their job. It is a very important distinction. Michael Brown and Eric Garner were committing crimes. Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were protecting all the citizens of New York City.
The national dialogue on proper and effective policing has been totally distorted. Activists purporting to represent the majority of the black community have been bolstered by a 24 hour news cycle that gives them unwarranted credibility. I do not believe for one minute that Al Sharpton represents the feelings of most hardworking, law abiding black American families. I know through dozens of community meetings during my time as NYC Police Commissioner that what the black community wants most is what we all want—a safe environment in which to live their lives.
There are 18,000 police departments in the United States. They interact millions of times with the public, and make hundreds of thousands of arrests. Very few result in a suspect’s death or injury. We do not have police forces out of control as the media and the Sharptons of the world would have us believe. Does that mean that there are not serious incidents of police abuse or misjudgment? Of course there are. When they take place we should investigate them thoroughly and prosecute and punish those who committed the wrong doing. We should not burn down buildings and murder police officers.
When Ismaaiyl Abdulah Brinsley brutally executed Officers Ramos and Liu he did so in an atmosphere of permissiveness and anti-police rhetoric unlike any that I have seen in 45 years in law enforcement. The rhetoric this time is not from the usual suspects, but from the Mayor of New York City, the Attorney General of the United States, and even the President. It emboldens criminals and sends a message that every encounter a black person has with a police officer is one to be feared. Nothing could be further from the truth. We will never know what was in the mind of Brinsley when he shot officers Ramos and Liu. However we do know that he has seen nothing but police bashing from some of the highest officials in the land.