• Syracuse Stage Murder on the Orient Express
  • 5 for CNY - Learn How
  • Malmgren Concert Black History Month
  • Urban CNY-Survey 2.0 LinkedIn-530 x 75 px
  • Alzheimer’s Association
  • CSEA_Help Wanted_Labor Relations
  • Land Bank - Restoring Properties

Celebrating Urban Life Since 1989

Menu Hamburger White
  • Urban CNY-Survey 2.0 LinkedIn-530 x 75 px
  • Land Bank - Restoring Properties
  • 5 for CNY - Learn How
  • Alzheimer’s Association
  • Malmgren Concert Black History Month
  • Syracuse Stage Murder on the Orient Express
  • CSEA_Help Wanted_Labor Relations

Killed on Duty: What We Should Never Forget

Two New York City Police Officers were killed in the line of duty. Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York City Police Chief, William J. Bratton and others have called this, “an assassination”. Reportedly the two officers were simply shot without warning or provocation. The assailant later turned the weapon on himself in a nearby subway station. According to published reports social media posts, describes a man who was angry due to the recent grand jury decisions regarding Michael Brown and New York’s Eric Garner. After shooting an ex-girlfriend in Baltimore, Maryland he took a bus to New York City later gunning down the two officers’ as they sat in their patrol car.

Whenever a Police Officer’s shot or wounded it’s a tragedy, a jolt to our system of civility. As with all first responders, they run in as everyone else runs away. There has to be balance between police officers protecting “the people” and officers being safe to perform their duties. Without law enforcement there would be anarchy, especially in neighborhoods that rely on police services the most. These communities tend to be low-income, minority neighborhoods with high crime rates.

Protest Personalization and hot union rhetoric

Rodney King Verdict Protest in Syracuse
Rodney King Verdict Protest in Syracuse

After the Ferguson, Missouri and Staten Island, NY Grand Jury decisions, protests became personalized. Signs were quite specific with names, some verbiage was derogatory. The venom shown by some protestors broke every rule in Dr. Kings, Six Principles of Nonviolence.  The Civil Rights Movement protests were not personalized. Despite identifiable figures who participated in oppressive acts did you see their names on signs? No. It was about systems, institutions and actions with the ultimate goal of reconciliation. Never did you see a “death to Bull Connor” sign or anything that would taunt state sponsored acts against the African American community.

There was a time during the 1950’s in Alabama when being a member of the NAACP was against the law. Therefore, protests had to be planned, staged. Signs were vetted; you didn’t see or hear threatening verbiage or names assessing blame for the intolerable conditions in the segregated south. Protestors wore their, “Sunday best” and were met with dogs and fire hoses. Even with the official power of the state raining down on them they were told to suffer the consequences of their actions. Redemptive suffering would be rewarded with freedom, once the world saw injustice unfold on their evening news broadcasts.

Today’s protest leaders are apparently using Dr. Kings’s Cliff Notes on how to mount a non-violent protest. There are over 350 methods to bring about what’s called, “creative tension”.  However, chants of, “what do we want, dead police” among other inflammatory rhetoric incite, and does nothing to address an institutional problem, “the relations between the police and members of the African-American community”.Dr King Statue

In Dr. King’s Six Principles of Nonviolence*, “Principle Three: Attack Injustice, Not Persons Doing Unjust Deeds.”

Humor, anger and indignation about conditions were the focus of Dr. King’s energy and attention. People are not the problem; what must be changed are the conditions under which some people operate.

Focusing anger and indignation on personalities is not only violent, but often produces more violence or apathy about the real problems and conditions.”- MLK Institute

There’s a pox on both houses as sides square off at opposite ends of the spectrum.  Even pain is polarized. The pain experienced by those empowered to “serve and protect” is in direct contradiction to grievances expressed by those who protest. Some protests were planned while others were spontaneous, all representing opponents of excessive force allegedly used by police against African-Americans.

It doesn’t help when the head of the largest police union says, “There’s Blood on many hands tonight that blood starts at on the steps of City Hall in the office of the mayor” clearly stating that this ambush is Mayor de Blasio’s and the protestor’s fault. The union leaders’ rhetoric is like spritzing gasoline on a smoldering fire.

Some of us know people who serve in law enforcement and know the hard and challenging work it is. No one could have prevented someone with mental health issues from shooting a woman in Maryland, then heading to New York City on a mission to murder Police Officers. The union should have shown restraint, the comments indicted all protests & protestors. Just as some protestors have used a broad brush to paint the police as monsters hell-bent on killing Black people.

Leaders on all sides need to lead responsibly. Our system is based on a floating confidence in our inalienable rights to live in a civil society which includes the right to peaceably assemble; it’s the responsibility of those institutions including law enforcement, to maintain that confidence even in the face of adversity.

No police officer should be shot in the line of duty, neither should a man be choked to death for selling loosies on a New York City street.

 

—————————————————————————————————————————-

For a full copy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Six Principles of Nonviolence and Six Steps of Non-Violence. “click” on highlighted text.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE

Van B. Robinson Common Council Chambers Weekly Schedule March 4th – March 8th, 2024

Syracuse City Hall 233 E Washington St,, Syracuse, NY, United States

Monday, March 4th 6:00 p.m. City Planning Commission Meeting Tuesday, March 5th 11:00 a.m. Finance, Taxation & Assessment Committee Meeting Re: Tax Exemption Agreement with Maria Regina Housing Development Fund Corporation […]

Van B. Robinson Common Council Chambers Weekly Schedule March 4th – March 8th, 2024

Syracuse City Hall 233 E Washington St,, Syracuse, NY, United States

Monday, March 4th 6:00 p.m. City Planning Commission Meeting Tuesday, March 5th 11:00 a.m. Finance, Taxation & Assessment Committee Meeting Re: Tax Exemption Agreement with Maria Regina Housing Development Fund Corporation […]

Van B. Robinson Common Council Chambers Weekly Schedule March 4th – March 8th, 2024

Syracuse City Hall 233 E Washington St,, Syracuse, NY, United States

Monday, March 4th 6:00 p.m. City Planning Commission Meeting Tuesday, March 5th 11:00 a.m. Finance, Taxation & Assessment Committee Meeting Re: Tax Exemption Agreement with Maria Regina Housing Development Fund Corporation […]

Van B. Robinson Common Council Chambers Weekly Schedule March 4th – March 8th, 2024

Syracuse City Hall 233 E Washington St,, Syracuse, NY, United States

Monday, March 4th 6:00 p.m. City Planning Commission Meeting Tuesday, March 5th 11:00 a.m. Finance, Taxation & Assessment Committee Meeting Re: Tax Exemption Agreement with Maria Regina Housing Development Fund Corporation […]

Van B. Robinson Common Council Chambers Weekly Schedule March 4th – March 8th, 2024

Syracuse City Hall 233 E Washington St,, Syracuse, NY, United States

Monday, March 4th 6:00 p.m. City Planning Commission Meeting Tuesday, March 5th 11:00 a.m. Finance, Taxation & Assessment Committee Meeting Re: Tax Exemption Agreement with Maria Regina Housing Development Fund Corporation […]

Local, State & National


Resources

Neighborhoods

Features

Contact Us