The New York Times couldn’t be any more clear on where it stands with regard to the deteriorating relationship between New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the NYPD. They don’t appear to take issue with a single thing de Blasio has said or done during the controversy. The NYPD, on the other hand, can’t seem to do anything right, according to the Times.
The New York Post on Tuesday reported, and city officials confirmed, that officers are essentially abandoning enforcement of low-level offenses. According to data The Post cited for the week starting Dec. 22 — two days after two officers were shot and killed on a Brooklyn street — traffic citations had fallen by 94 percent over the same period last year, summonses for offenses like public drinking and urination were down 94 percent, parking violations were down 92 percent, and drug arrests by the Organized Crime Control Bureau were down 84 percent.
This may be the first union-driven work slowdown the NYT hasn’t liked. In fact, they go so far as to seem to suggest it has more to do with contract negotiations than the safety of officers and their desire to feel supported by their political overseers.
… it is so steep and sudden as to suggest a dangerous, deplorable escalation of the police confrontation with the de Blasio administration. Even considering the heightened tensions surrounding the officers’ deaths and pending labor negotiations — the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association has no contract, and its leader, Patrick Lynch, has been the most strident in attacking Mr. de Blasio, calling him a bloody accomplice to the officers’ murder — this action is repugnant and inexcusable. It amounts to a public act of extortion by the police.
They even go over de Blasio’s actions that have helped to contribute to the current unworkable stalemate, concluding nothing could possibly be his fault.
Let’s review the actions that Mr. de Blasio’s harshest critics say have driven the police to such extremes.
1. He campaigned on ending the unconstitutional use of “stop-and-frisk” tactics, which victimized hundreds of thousands of innocent young black and Latino men.
2. He called for creating an inspector general for the department and ending racial profiling.
3. After Eric Garner, an unarmed black man, was killed by a swarm of cops on Staten Island, he convened a meeting with the police commissioner, William Bratton, and the Rev. Al Sharpton, giving Mr. Sharpton greater prominence than police defenders thought he should have had because Mr. Sharpton is a firebrand with an unsavory past.
4. He said after the Garner killing that he had told his biracial son, Dante, to “take special care” in encounters with the police.
5. He generally condoned the peaceful protests for police reform — while condemning those who incited or committed violence — and cited a tagline of the movement: “Black lives matter.”
The list of grievances adds up to very little, unless you look at it through the magnifying lens of resentment fomented by union bosses and right-wing commentators.
The editorial is so ridiculously one-sided, ultimately resulting in some silly finger-pointing at the NYT‘s usual suspects, “right-wing commentators,” it’s impossible to imagine it being taken seriously by the blue side of the thin blue line. In that sense, if the New York Times has accomplished anything with today’s editorial, it’s most likely only made matters worse.