“Begin at the beginning,” the King said, very gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.” Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

 

The frenetic energy of New York City took physical form this week by way of dueling hashtags; a banner being flown about the city by former and current NYPD officers which read, “de Blasio, we turn our back to you”; Twitter commentary from actor James Wood on politics; a police union official calling for a shutdown within the NYPD; macabre connections between Macbeth and de Blasio; guest spots on evening news programs by former city Mayors and Governors hoping to up their Q rating; police officers protesting at the funeral of slain officers; and, families of young black men who have been killed by police officers throughout the country being forced into the untenable position of defending departments and officers, in the hopes of keeping protests calm and orderly.

Protests in the city began in earnest when a grand jury failed to indict a white police officer who had utilized a chokehold to subdue Mr. Garner during an arrest.

Use of the chokehold, which was banned under police commissioner Raymond Kelly in 1993, was determined by the city’s coroner to have contributed to Mr. Garner’s death, which the coroner ultimately ruled a “homicide”.

And then, because the story did not have enough twists and turns and characters elbowing each other for space in front of microphones, Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were killed while sitting in their patrol car in Brooklyn, in a premeditated shooting by Ismaaiyl Brinsley, a man with an extensive mental and criminal history.

After shooting his girlfriend in the stomach, Mr. Brinsley traveled from Baltimore, Maryland to New York City with the intent of “putting wings on pigs”, boasts which he made on his Instagram account because even killers of police officers are aware of the power of social media.

In response to the deaths of the officers, Pat Lynch, the elected President of the Patrolman’s Benevolent Association, held a press conference the same evening of the officers’ deaths in which he said, “There’s blood on many hands tonight” and “that blood on the hands, starts on the steps of City Hall, in the office of the mayor.”

Around this time, the New York Times reported a memo was issued by the P.B.A., which read, “The mayors [sic] hands are literally dripping with our blood because of his words actions and policies…”.

The P.B.A. later distanced itself from the memo, perhaps because the memo issued a call for a shutdown of police duties by way of”no enforcement action in the form of arrests or summonses” unless “absolutely necessary”.

Mayor de Blasio then held his own press conference, in which he attempted to acknowledge the elephant in the room – that there may be some merit to the basis for the Garner protests; or, at the least, a different narrative to contribute to the experiences of young black males navigating city life than that which white residents assume.

The Mayor, after stating that he had spent time with Eric Garner’s father, the seeing the “unspeakable pain” of Ben Garner, had been led to think of his own son, Dante, a biracial teen.

The mayor said, “Chirlane and I have had to talk to Dante for years about the dangers that he may face … how to take special care in any encounters he has with the police officers who are there to protect him.”

Cue everyone else who has an agenda, including:

  • Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani who appeared on Fox News Sunday to say, “We’ve had four months of propaganda, starting with the president, that everybody should hate the police.”
  • Former Governor of New York, George Pataki, who, while considering a run for President in 2016, demonstrated his own social skills when he tweeted, “sickened by these barbaric acts, which sadly are a predictable outcome of divisive anti-cop rhetoric of #ericholder & #mayordeblasio. #NYPD.” @GeorgePataki. The Former Governor has since utilized the tragedy to promote his appearances on news programs concerning the killings.
  • Former actor and sane person, James Woods, who tweeted “Who’s [sic] more vile, the rat or the rat wrangler?” as a caption to a photograph of Mayor de Blasio and Al Sharpton.
  • And now we reach the end of our story.

And now, we come to the end of our story: Today, as Officers Ramos and Liu were being laid to rest and eulogized by Mayor de Blasio at a church in Queens, NY, hundreds of police officers turned their backs on the Mayor.

A union and department, which had only a week earlier suggested non-violent protests following the death of Eric Garner had led to the deaths of Officers Ramos and Liu, decided to utilize the funeral as their own opportunity to … protest. Which, ultimately, leads to more protests and more vitriol.

And so we come to the end of our story … New York has fallen down the rabbit hole.

 

Editors, writers and members of the Fraternal Order of the Leather Apron Club.