You know, seeing police officers throw temper tantrums over people asking them to try to avoid killing Black people as much as possible only further amplifies the fact that they may not be the right people for this job. The commissioner for the New York Police Department is the latest white man to be livid—livid—that people have the audacity to want to survive an encounter with the police.
According to CNN, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea went on a fiery rant against lawmakers who have pushed for police reforms during the department’s weekly stats meeting. “They don’t have a goddamn clue what they’re talking about but we are not going to let them destroy this city. People that don’t have a clue about how to keep New Yorkers safe suddenly think they know about policing.” Shea said during a CompStat briefing on Thursday. Despite all that energy, Shea didn’t directly name who he was referring to. Shea’s rhetoric comes after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a series of reform measures last month that included a ban on chokeholds.
Shea issued a dire warning to the officers in attendance. “You are going to be incredibly tested—incredibly tested, probably in the months to come this is not a short term problem. They have screwed this city up so much in a short period of time, it’s going to take us a time to get it—our arms around it. It’s already started I believe. Cops are incredibly challenged in how they can police today. There’s no question.” Shea said.
The speech from Shea comes as the city is dealing with an uptick in shootings and homicides that it hasn’t seen in nearly two decades. Through July 12, the city has recorded 634 shootings compared to 394 for the same period last year, a 60% increase. There have been 203 murders so far in 2020, a 23% jump compared to same time period in 2019, when the city recorded 165 killings.
During the brief speech, Shea said that, according to officials, 20 people “touch 100 shootings,” without specifying the time frame. Shea said that the city may not need 1 million or 10,000 people in jail, but “these goddamn 20 people need to go jail.”
The speech mirrored what a number NYPD officials have espoused since the height of the George Floyd demonstrations in New York City: Police officers are now confronted with anti-police rhetoric that has gained support from city lawmakers and that has emboldened some to commit crimes, contributing in part to the spike in violence.
It’s incredibly telling that instead of accepting the changes and trying to adapt to better serve the community, Shea instead seems to believe that it’s all doom and gloom from here—as if there simply can’t be a better way of doing things. Shea continued to lay into the lawmakers who he felt aggrieved him and the entire police department.
“I don’t know that there’s ever been a period exactly like this where so many systems of government are literally cowards that won’t stand up for what’s right. They’re failing at every possible measure to be leaders. And they throw it onto the backs of the men and women of this police department and curse them with one hand and then blame them with the other. How dare they?” Shea said.
Well, I mean, it was the NYPD that choked Eric Garner to death, drove a cruiser into a crowd of protesters, and thought using excessive force on an 8-year-old selling candy was the move. Shea’s demeanor is, sadly, not uncommon and is among one of the many problems that exist within law enforcement. They want to be viewed as heroes, as paragons of justice, but they don’t want to do the work to earn it.
Instead, they’ll just throw temper tantrums at work meetings.