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NYPD Cops Respect Fallen Officer Through Classy Political Stunt At Funeral
Photo by Viorel Florescu, New York Daily News
Just to prove how much they objected to Mayor Bill de Blasio's inciting the murder of two policemen last week, hundreds (or possibly thousands) of NYPD officers attending a memorial service for one of the officers turned their backs on a video screen carrying de Blasio's remarks during the funeral. It was a fitting display of contempt for a man who had dared to stir up hatred of police by telling his son that he needed to be careful around police, since they don't always show love and respect for young black men, which is obviously just not true. De Blasio also apparently encouraged the murders by allowing widespread protests in New York after the grand jury decision in the killing of Eric Garner, because allowing criticism of police is precisely the same as calling for them to be murdered.
De Blasio made further inflammatory remarks during the funeral: following his condolences to the family of slain officer Rafael Ramos, he added, “I extend my condolences to another family, the family of the N.Y.P.D. that is hurting so deeply right now,” and also had the gall to cite the words of a notorious lawbreaker who was lawfully put to death by the established security forces of his day:
In a 10-minute speech, he quoted from the New Testament, saying, “Blessed are the peacemakers,” and described how police officers “help make a place that otherwise would be torn with strife a place of peace.”
It would appear that Mayor de Blasio is simply obsessed with stirring up trouble and acting as if elected civilian officials are allowed to criticize police. How would we ever have any order if it weren't for police? New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton further politicized the funeral after the fact by saying that the officers' protest was somehow untoward:
“That funeral was held to honor Officer (Rafael) Ramos,” Bratton said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “To bring politics or to bring issues into that event I think was very inappropriate and I do not support it.
It would appear that not all police departments share the view that civilians should just shut up and respect cops' authoriteh; in Nashville, Tennessee, this weekend, Police Chief Steve Anderson posted a message to Nashville Police on the city's website that was remarkably tolerant of the notion that the public is allowed to be critical of police, and that the police were doing a nifty job in protecting people's right to protest:
As a member of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, you have responded to these events in a manner that clearly shows that this is a professional police department staffed by professional individuals who respect the points of view of all persons. Again, thank you for showing the Nashville public that, individually and collectively, they have a police department they can be proud of.
Included in the message was the reply that Anderson wrote to a Nashville citizen complaining that police had allowed protesters to briefly shut down a local freeway in November -- in fact, Anderson had ordered the freeway closed to accommodate the protests -- and who asked why the hell the police weren't cracking heads and restoring order. The angry writer wanted to know how he can possibly teach his son to respect police when they're doing nothing to stop protests that were very disruptive indeed. Anderson replied to the letter's claim that the department's tolerance of protest was "putting the department at disharmony from the majority of the citizens” by pointing out that, here in U.S. America, people actually disagree a lot, and that such disagreements are a feature, not a bug in the machinery of democracy:
As imperfect humans, we have a tendency to limit our association with other persons to those persons who are most like us. Unfortunately, there is even more of a human tendency to stay within our comfort zone by further narrowing those associations to those persons who share our thoughts and opinions. By doing this we can avoid giving consideration to thoughts and ideas different than our own. This would make us uncomfortable. By considering only the thoughts and ideas we are in agreement with, we stay in our comfort zone. Our own biases get reinforced and reflected back at us leaving no room for any opinion but our own. By doing this, we often convince ourselves that the majority of the world shares opinion and that anyone with another opinion is, obviously, wrong.
It is only when we go outside that comfort zone, and subject ourselves to the discomfort of considering thoughts we don’t agree with, that we can make an informed judgment on any matter. We can still disagree and maintain our opinions, but we can now do so knowing that the issue has been given consideration from all four sides. Or, if we truly give fair consideration to all points of view, we may need to swallow our pride and amend our original thoughts.
It is not known whether the NYPD police union has plans at this time to travel to Nashville to turn its back on Chief Anderson.