Not the NYC PD, apparently.
For all the public whining about how nobody respects them, some police departments seem to be going out of their way to be as big a set of imbeciles as they can.
First, when DeBlasio showed up at the hospital when two officers were murdered in their squad car, officers turned their backs to him. Truly mature. Then, at the memorial for slain officer Rafael Ramos, hundreds of officers turned their backs yet again on DeBlasio. Commissioner Bratton has been leading the charge of whining. Thankfully, he did make the rounds of Sunday talk shows and said the turning away was highly inappropriate.
But this is not “People hate cops.” People, rather are upset that cops pretty much shoot to kill unarmed black people, while somehow being able to subdue armed white people. #Blacklivesmatter was not a declaration that cops lives do not matter. Overwhelmingly, people see the death of a cop as tragic, no matter how they died. Police officers made a video of a song “Dead, Dead Michael Brown.” It is easy to see commentary slamming the unarmed black men killed as dangerous thugs, with (mostly white) bloggers making every effort to dig up police records to prove how these men deserved to be shot. It goes on and on…but when a police officer is murdered, they get their status of “Saint” entirely unquestioned by the public. Oh, sure, you will see the random story of a person who said they think the cop deserved it. But it will not be a prominent black blogger or journalist saying it. Charles Blow will not be promising to drop a bombshell that proves Officer Ramos was a thug who deserved to die. And yet, much of what I saw from conservatives when Officers Ramos and Liu were slain was, “Gee, how can I use this to slam the #blacklivesmatter folks?” Because that is what tragic murders are for. “Shaming” people you perceive as your political opponents.
In America? Cops are such heroes that pointing out problem areas of police brutality, it is claimed that you are hating cops in general. Cops are such heroes in Hollywood, that even movies about dirty cops have either the “One Good Cop taking on the system” or the bad cops are anti-heroes. Look at the Heat. Look at the Lethal Weapon movies. Dirty Harry. Violent cops who break protocol are heroes in the movies. If Dirty Harry was real and got gunned down? He would be praised as a paragon of virtue. And cops would turn their backs on DeBlasio.
The truth is, DeBlasio is not the person who created an atmosphere of negativity towards police officers. The officers who are gunning unarmed people and not facing trial are. The officers quick to defend any shooting as justified are. People are angry with police departments from New York to Ferguson for very good reason. If cops want a change in how they are being seen, then maybe they need to step back, take a good long hard look at themselves and stop pretending the issue is outside their ranks. Instead, they circle the wagons, protecting the bad cops in the name of good cops, leaving the public at a loss.