Twelve protest groups and organizations joined together Monday to demand an apology from NYC police commissioner William Bratton and Patrick Lynch, president of the city’s largest police union – the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association – for saying protestors have blood on their hands after Saturday’s senseless killing of two NYPD officers by 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley.
The list of organizations include: Black Lives Matter, Concerned Citizens for Justice, Ferguson Action, Million Hoodies Movement for Justice, Brooklyn Movement Center, Organization for Black Struggle, Hands Up United, Dream Defenders, Dignity & Power Now and National Domestic Workers Alliance.
The statement issued on the Black Lives Matter Facebook page declared:
Commissioner Bratton and Patrick Lynch must immediately apologize to New Yorkers who desperately want change in the city. Mayor [Bill] de Blasio and other elected officials should condemn these opportunistic distractions that attempt to avoid meaningful reform.
The statement also offered its sincere sympathies to the families of the slain officers, “Our condolences to the families and friends of those injured and killed this weekend,” but it went on to state:
This is not a time for political grandstanding and punditry. Unfortunately, we continue to see elected officials and police leadership twist this tragedy into an opportunity for them to silence the cries for justice from families who have lost their loved ones to police violence. Our families matter, too.
The statement also said:
A troubled young man who began his day by attempting to kill his ex-partner, shot two officers and then killed himself has nothing to do with a broad non-violent movement for change. The NYPD is conveniently ignoring the facts surrounding this tragedy in order to score cheap political points.
Lynch had accused protestors and Mayor de Blasio late in the day Saturday for bringing about Brinsley’s violent actions, most likely because the less-than-stable man wrote, “I’m Putting Wings On Pigs Today. They Take 1 Of Ours, Let’s Take 2 of Theirs,” on his Instagram page before committing the assassination of officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu.
There’s blood on many hands tonight. Those that incited violence on this 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 cannot be tolerated. That blood on the hands starts on the steps of city hall in the office of the mayor.
The Black Lives Matter joint statement largely went on to state what should be obvious to anyone with an intellectual cell in their body, that the actions of the mentally unstable Brinsley have nothing to do with the larger peaceful movement for social justice in the country. The die-ins, marches, blockades and protests have all simply sought to condemn the systemic racism rampant in the country and the abusive, murderous actions of police in their relations with young black men, and the black community as a whole.
The actions of autonomous individuals acting outside the peaceful tactics of the larger movements are irrelevant and inconsequential to the larger dialogue created by peaceful movements, as individuals can act on their own at any time without knowledge, consent, or solidarity of the larger movements. More so, individual community members are not beholden to a code of conduct in addition to or beyond the law, such as a public servant or law enforcement officer, who is required to uphold certain protocols of respect and dignity when interacting with the public. By Lynch’s logic to condemn the entirety of the protests due to the actions of one loose cannon, all police officers would be representative of the actions of every and any police officer out there, which would only underline the point and legitimacy of the protests currently sweeping not only the country, but the globe.
The double-standard doesn’t stop there, either. It appears de Blasio is feeling a bit of the pressure from the NYPD and its auxiliary organizations, as he has now called for a brief hiatus in protests while the two police officers are buried.
But that request is both unreasonable and insulting.
Because there has not been any reflection of complicity on behalf of police forces across the country in all of this mess. Nor has there ever been a calling off of police violence while citizens bury their dead murdered by police. Instead, citizens protesting the blatant murder of their loved ones have been met with rubber bullets, tear gas, intimidation and abuse. Arrests have been rampant, and media blackouts have often been put into place, as well, in order to hide the tactics and violence of police against civilians utilizing their 1st Amendment rights.
The establishment wants to call time out when it comes to their own, but doesn’t even blink when it guns down private citizens. In fact, when people stand up to the police for murdering a man whose last words (caught on tape!) are “I can’t breathe!” police officers around the country, instead, mockingly print and wear publicly in their own misguided counterdemonstrations, T-shirts that read “I Can Breathe.”
See what I’m getting at?
Such disrespectful, racist, blind and ignorant, dismissive action only aggravates a situation created by the police, themselves. That’s a slap in the face of the families of the people the police have murdered.
They’ve gotten off scot-free and are now rubbing it in these mourning families’ faces, and entire communities have gotten so sick of it that they are standing up for their neighbors and their communities. That’s a sign of their privilege, of the establishment’s certainty that they will continue to reign as they please regardless of demonstrators’ actions. That’s arrogance in place of self-reflection, humility and humble servitude for the public good.
And then Lynch and Bratton have the nerve to say Brinsley’s deed puts blood on the protestors’ and Mayor de Blasio’s hands?
And that spin, that twisting of reality for those too weak of mind to understand what’s really afoot here is putting so much pressure on the mayor that he is now calling for a pause in protests? Hell no. If anything, they need to continue in order to get somewhere, in order for progress and change to come about so that relations improve, so that police officers are not gunned down in such a manner in the future. What Lynch and Bratton fail to understand is that the protests across the country are also for the good and safety of the police. Stopping before the police even begin to admit they need to look inward at themselves — more so than at the communities protesting — before any progress whatsoever is made, would be an affront to the memories of those two murdered officers.
It’s terrible what happened to those two police officers. No one deserves to be murdered in cold blood, but we will never get anywhere until the “justice” system and law enforcement in this country begins to admit it is complicit in the problem and begins to look inward enough to affect change, itself. We’re all in this together. Let the demonstrations continue, and let us all stay peaceful and levelheaded as they do. Love is the answer – unconditional love and mutual respect for all.