New York City police pledge “wartime” response to killing of two officers

Sandy English

The fatal shooting of two New York City police officers on Saturday has been followed by a series of extraordinary statements from the police union and its political allies. Charging that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has “blood on his hands,” the police are demanding a crackdown on protests and the criminalization of all opposition to police killings.

Officers Raphael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were sitting in their vehicle in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn when, shortly before 3 pm on Saturday, the apparent shooter, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, approached the car and killed both.

Brinsley, 28, had driven from a suburb of Baltimore, Maryland to Brooklyn after shooting and wounding his former girlfriend. The young man, who was clearly mentally unbalanced and evidently suicidal, seems to have been motivated in part by the police killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in New York City.

After he shot Ramos and Liu, Brinsley was pursued by police into a nearby subway station, where he killed himself.

The response of the police has bordered on mutiny. As Mayor de Blasio walked to a press conference on Saturday, dozens of police officers demonstratively turned their backs on him. Police have issued a series of denunciations of de Blasio for having indicated some sympathy for demonstrations against police violence held in the wake of a grand jury’s decision not to charge NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo for the chokehold death of Garner.


Anger follows New York grand jury’s failure to indict cop who killed Eric Garner

Sandy English

Workers and youth reacted with outrage to the news that a grand jury in the New York City borough of Staten Island had decided not to indict New York Police Department officer Daniel Pantaleo in the chokehold death of Eric Garner.

The killing of Garner, which happened in July, was captured on a cellphone video seen by millions of people around the world.

This is the second failure to indict a cop for a high-profile killing of an unarmed African-American man in less than two weeks. On November 24, St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch announced that there would be no charges against Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

On Wednesday evening, hundreds of protesters in New York City assembled in Union Square and Times Square in Manhattan and marched to Rockefeller Center. Dozens of people were arrested.

The grand jury proceedings in Staten Island were highly manipulated to produce the desired result. Richmond County (Staten Island) District Attorney Daniel Donovan impaneled the 23-person grand jury on August 19, and the deliberations were dragged out for many weeks. Donovan, like McCulloch in Missouri, allowed the killer cop to give his side of the story without any cross-examination of the sort that he would face at trial.

Grand juries almost always return indictments sought by prosecutors. As in the case of Brown’s killer, the prosecutor who brought the case has close ties to the police and worked to ensure that no charges would be filed.


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