NYC asks federal court to approve mass arrests of protesters

December 22, 2014

Monday, December 22, 2014

Good evening:

With our nation in crisis regarding the epidemic of police killings of innocent unarmed citizens, most of whom are young black males, including Michael Brown, John Crawford, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner, to mention a few, the NYPD police union president Patrick Lynch pushed back hard on Saturday against people who protest against the killings. In classic right wing nonsequitur fashion, he blamed the predominantly peaceful protesters, Mayor De Blasio and President Obama for the ambush murders of two NYPD officers sitting in a parked patrol vehicle in Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon. Never mind that the killer was not involved in any of the protests and apparently decided to bag two cops after shooting his ex-girlfriend in the abdomen.

Terrell Jermaine Starr of Alternet reports,

It was just hours after officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were shot and killed by a lone gunman, when further inflamed tensions between the police and the minority community during a shockingly divisive and incendiary speech to the media.

“There’s blood on many hands tonight,” Lynch said. “Those that incited violence on the street under the guise of protests that tried to tear down what New York City police officers did everyday. We tried to warn, ‘It must not go on. It cannot be tolerated.’ That blood on the hands starts on the steps of City Hall in the office of the mayor [Bill de Blasio]. When these funerals are over, those responsible will be called on the carpet and held accountable.”

Fortunately, some cooler heads are attempting today to pull back from the abyss. However, the NYPD continues to rattle the saber as the NYC Law Department will be attempting to persuade the Second Circuit Court of Appeals sitting en banc to reverse an earlier decision by a three judge panel that held the NYPD had violated Occupy Wall Street protester’s First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly and their Fourth Amendment rights to privacy by making mass arrests without individualized probable cause.

The City is arguing in its legal brief that the three judge panel’s “decision will frustrate, not further, the work of police attempting to facilitate peaceful demonstrations while ensuring both the safety of demonstrators and those among whom demonstrations are staged.” This argument is ridiculous because the Fourth Amendment specifically states that police cannot arrest a person without probable cause to believe he or she committed a crime. Police are also prohibited from entrapping law abiding citizens into committing crimes they did not intend to commit. In this case, officers from the NYPD entrapped Occupy Wall Street protesters by leading and escorting them onto the Brooklyn Bridge only to arrest them en masse for violating an order not to go on the bridge that no one heard.

Steven Rosenfeld of Alternet reports,

“This is the most significant and most defining legal case on protesters’ rights in the last 40 years, since the mass arrests of May Day 1970,” said Carl Messineo, Partnership for Civil Justice Fund legal director, which represented the protesters. “Mayor de Blasio seeks the authority to arrest today’s protesters in the same manner Mayor Bloomberg falsely arrested Occupy Wall Street protesters by the hundreds.”

Seeking to legitimize a practice of widespread false arrests by entrapping protesters is an egregious Fourth Amendment violation that deserves condemnation. This is no way to calm troubled waters. Instead it’s yet another reason, as if we needed one, to increase the protests.

Obviously, the NYPD doesn’t get it.


NYC Policemen’s Benevolent Association needs to STFU and stop killing people

December 14, 2014

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Good morning:

As thousands of people demonstrated in Washington DC, New York, Boston and other cities across the country yesterday against an epidemic of homicides in which police officers have killed unarmed black citizens, the New York City police officers union kicked off a campaign to prevent Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito from attending police funerals.

WTF, you ask?

Patrick Lynch, the head of the NYPD Police Officers Benevolent Association, wants everyone to know that he is really really upset about their lack of support for Officer Pantaleo, the cop who killed Eric Garner with a choke hold. Never mind that Eric Garner was unarmed and had just broken up a fight by separating the combatants. He had to be stopped from selling single cigarettes, or loosies as they are called, don’cha know, because respect for the rule of law would cease to exist if they didn’t, and the terrorists would take over Staten Island and start beheading people. They have to be stopped over there so they don’t kill us over here, or some such nonsense.

Reuters reports that,

The New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association posted a form on its website, for members to sign, that requests that de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito keep away from funeral services should an officer die in the line of duty.

/snip/

The form, entitled “Don’t Insult My Sacrifice”, accused the pair of “consistent refusal to show police officers the support and respect they deserve.”

Meanwhile Mayor deBlasio, who is married to a black woman, is more concerned about the survival and safety of their son than placating whining cops with sweet political nothings praising the incompetent grand jury decision not to indict Pantaleo and declaring that it’s time to move on. He didn’t have time for that bullshit. He had to have the talk that no parent wants to have.

He had to warn his biracial son to be wary of racist cops with guns and bad attitudes or he might end up as yet another name on a long list of innocent unarmed victims murdered by police.

Here’s Reuters again,

In response, de Blasio and Mark-Viverito released a joint statement saying the union’s campaign was divisive.

“Incendiary rhetoric like this serves only to divide the city, and New Yorkers reject these tactics,” local media quoted them as saying in the statement.

Good for them.

I think the NYPD Police Officers Benevolent Association and its members need to STFU and stop killing people.


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