The Zionist Conspiracy
Thursday, November 30, 2006
When I expressed outrage after the murder of Gidone Busch by NYPD officers, a non-Jewish friend asked me if I had felt the same way when Amadou Diallo was killed by cops and when Abner Louima was brutalized. I said that I had, but had to admit that I was not nearly as vocal then.
More than seven years later, I therefore cannot be silent after the Queens shooting death of Sean Bell.
To be sure, many essential facts are not yet in - and Bell is not around to respond to the NYPD officers' account. It is prudent to reserve full judgment pending the DA's investigation.
But there is reason to believe that at the very least, the cops on the scene acted inappropriately and with excessive force, and that if the situation had been handled properly, Bell and his friends would have gone home safely.
* * *
When Rudy Giuliani began his crackdown on crime, he ordered the NYPD to be aggressive toward minor infractions, like the "squeegy guys" who used to wash car windows on an unsolicited basis, and then demand a dollar for their 30 seconds of work. Then, cops went hard after neighborhood drug dealers. Whatever one thinks about Giuliani's style, it's hard to argue that the streets became safer during his tenure.
On a daily basis, most NYPD officers work hard and risk their safety to protect New York City's citizens. Their efforts have made this city - once riddled with violent crime - one of the safest big cities in the country.
But a minority of cops arrogantly present a confrontational, paranoid and bullying attitude toward even the most tenuous perceived threats.
Usually this thuggish attitude takes the form of a cop telling a civilian approaching to ask a question to "get the f*** away from me" or for a baseless summons to be issued.
Occasionally, however, the result is the death or maiming of an innocent, unarmed civilian.
Just as Giuliani's war on violent crime began with a no-tolerance attitude toward window-washers and turnstyle-jumpers, efforts to ensure that others do not share the tragic fate of Gidone Busch, Amadou Diallo and Sean Bell must begin by demanding that the NYPD and its officers always act with courtesy, professionalism and respect, in accordance with its mandate.