Police have been resisting forcefully to this year’s protests against their practise of brutalizing and killing Black people with impunity, and have also been pushing back against any policy shifts that could require them to face even a modicum accountability for this kind of activity.
Lawmakers in New York passed a law last month that criminalizes the use of chokeholds by cops that cause death or serious injury, named in honor of Eric Garner who was killed by police with one such hold in 2014.
But Chief of Department of the NYPD, Terence Monahan, said at a recent meeting that officers “can’t be afraid” to use the deadly technique and revealed that District Attorneys there have given assurances that they will not prosecute under the new law banning chokeholds.
“We can’t be afraid to do what we do. We can’t walk away,” Monahan said at a gathering of top NYPD cops, according to a report from NY Daily News. “We’ve got every D.A. come out and say they’re not going to charge that.”
We can’t walk away. This chilling statement from an NYPD Chief underscores the fact that cops are culturally disinclined to de-escalation, as well as my idea that many of them are more than a little blood thirsty.
Also chilling is the lackluster response from the public legal servants in New York when asked if there was truth in Monahan’s brag about a system of corruption.
From NY Daily News:
Asked for comment, Manhattan D.A. Cyrus Vance’s spokesman pointed to a statement Vance made on NY1 saying the city law likely won’t survive legal challenges, partly because it’s pre-empted by the state’s chokehold ban, which doesn’t include the city law’s language meant to stop cops from blocking a suspect’s diaphragm.
“Certainly there are going to be challenges regarding the ambiguity” between the city and state laws, Vance said July 8 on Inside City Hall
Staten Island District Attorney Michael McMahon declined to comment on Monahan’s remarks. The NYPD and the remaining district attorney’s offices did not immediately comment Thursday.
NYC Councilman Roy Lancman also pointed out that even before the passage of the law in question, chokeholds were already banned by the very department Monahan works in as Chief.
“I don’t know what’s worse — a roomful of NYPD commanders admitting that up until now no one has taken seriously the Department’s own Patrol Guide, or the Chief of Department telling cops to ignore the law because he thinks District Attorneys won’t enforce it,” said Lancman to NY Daily News.
Meanwhile, the head of the police union in New York is calling on district attorneys there to make it clear that cops can do whatever they want to citizens they apprehend, up to and including killing them.
“If every DA believes that, they need to say so publicly to the cops on the street,” said Patrick Lynch of the Police Benevolent Association. “Otherwise, we have to assume that we are risking arrest any time we lay hands on a criminal who won’t go quietly.”
Won’t go quietly. Did I say chilling and blood-thirsty already?