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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Why be honest?

State-senator elect Eric Adams (NYPD,Ret)

Scenes From the Blue Room: A More Flexible Tone Is Heard


In the interest of reaching out, Mr. Bloomberg chose to overlook remarks made by Mr. Barron, a former Black Panther, who came awfully close on Sunday to threatening violence against the police. If the city doesn’t respond to the Bell case, “don’t ask us to ask our people to be peaceful while they are being murdered,” said Mr. Barron, ever the statesman. “We’re not the only ones that can bleed.”

That is true. Police officers also can bleed, not that Mr. Sharpton or Mr. Barron is known for speaking out when the spilled blood is blue.

Did they call a rally after two black undercover detectives, James V. Nemorin and Rodney J. Andrews, were shot in the back of the head in 2003 while trying to rid the streets of guns? What do you think? Even as the killing of Mr. Bell held center stage, a Staten Island man went on trial yesterday in the detectives’ murder.

Perhaps one result of the latest disaster will be a reordering of police undercover procedures. The Diallo case led to changes. But it may be worth noting that the New York police do not typically shoot at anything in sight, despite some of the overheated oratory heard in the last few days.

By any measurement — number of shooting incidents, number of rounds fired, number of civilians shot or wounded — police officers reach for their guns far less often than they did 10 years ago. And 10 years ago, under Mr. Giuliani, the numbers were well below those of previous decades.

In the early 1970s, an average of 63 civilians a year were shot to death by the police. The figure for 1996 was 30. Last year it was 9. Before the Bell episode, the 2006 total was 10.

Of course, statistics get you only so far. Inevitably, something like Mr. Bell’s death reinforces a perception among some New Yorkers that the police are trigger-happy and the ones who pay, almost always, are black men
See, there's a missing man from Haberman's article and it's former police captain Eric Adams. He, not Sharpton, has defined the response to police shootings, and other crimes. It's easy for Haberman to take a snide cheap shot at Sharpton and Barron, but it isn't so easy unless you leave out Adams and his former organization One Hundred Blacks in Law Enforcement who care.

When criminals shoot police, why would you hold a rally? They're going to jail and justice will be served. When police murder blacks in the streets of New York, the dead are smeared, their families forced to wage a publicity campaign to get justice and is most likely to get a civil settlement from the city, while the cops walk free.

It is Adams who Sharpton has relied upon to question police procedure.

What Haberman also forgets to mention is while making Barron out to be scary, is that the issue is not just the shootings. People aren't upset about the shootings alone, but the knowledge that it is likely that no matter how flawed the incident, a policeman will never do time for killing a minority. If a citizen shot a police officer 41 or 50 times, they would be under the jail.

But time and again, white police officers are excused for what are basically extrajudicial killings. In the most egregious case, Giuliani led the fight to move the trial from the Bronx to Albany, where the jury freed four murderers. Which was the expected outcome. The Dorismond case never got to a jury. And the feds, frightened of Giuliani, never persued the case in District court.

The ONLY case which got to a federal grand jury and trial was the sodomy case of Abner Louima. And then, the cops lawyers waged a years long media battle to get some of the defendents freed.

What Haberman ignores is the fact that when police are wrong, when they murder, they do not serve time.

He's not honest enough to admit that it isn't perception but fact that when black men are murdered in the streets of New York by the police, heaven and earth will be moved to help them escape justice.

He, like a lot of the media, do not realize that the anger over the Diallo and Dorismond murders have only receeded, not disappeared. Freddy Ferrer found that out the hard way last year. By saying the Diallo "shooting" wasn't a murder, he lost black New York, despite Sharpton's efforts to help him.

Bloomberg doesn't realize it either.

The police unions better realize that they are alone on this. When the head of the Detectives Association comes out and says it was a good shooting, it makes him look like a bloodthirsty racist. Now, he may be defending his members, but people no longer want to hear police excuses for dead black men in the streets.

posted by Steve @ 6:52:00 AM

6:52:00 AM

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