Let’s face it, all of us have had some kind of interaction with a New York City cop. Some cops have a questionable attitude indeed. Some come off poorly when they stop you in your car or on the street.
It is particularly offensive when a cop asks you to do something that doesn’t seem to make sense. The tactics they are allowed to use have changed throughout the years, but on the whole, 99 percent of them are good and have a great sense of pride for their job and for the city.
If you are not a police officer, you have no idea what it is like to stop someone who might have broken the law. The unimaginable stress of not knowing what kind of person you are dealing with, or what their intention might be, is a feeling most of us can never understand.
And there are many protesters who mean well, too. “What do we want? Dead cops!” is not the sentiment of most of the protesters. We are sure that many of the protesters around the city are indeed afraid of cops. That feeling is not going to change overnight. But we, the 99 percent, are going to have to work hard in this city to make it change.
No doubt Mayor Bill de Blasio has fueled the fire by talking about his son being afraid of cops and not more forcibly denouncing protesters.
He could have been tougher on having protests not close down streets, but then again, the police are the ones who have to enforce that kind of edict. Who knows whether it would have worked or not?
Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch fuels the war, having his men turn their backs to the mayor in Woodhull Hospital over the weekend. His stunt, asking officers to sign a petition asking the mayor not to come to their funeral if killed, was quite unfortunate.
He is igniting a great deal of anger towards the mayor and every act he performs deteriorates the relationship between the mayor and the police officers.
Reverand Al Sharpton, one of the mayor’s closest confidants, continues to plan protests around the city. It’s not enough to just put off more protests until after these officers are laid to rest. They need to stop now, as they only add to the tension in the city.
The anger, apparent hatred and stress on the city’s streets is obvious as all people want to talk about is who is at fault. Each of us has a viewpoint, which no doubt has been tainted by the spin of whichever media outlet you favor. But there is certainly no way out of this without the other 8 million people in the city stepping up.
We suggest that, the rest of us, the citizens of New York – yes, the new 99 percent - not let the pundits, politicians and law enforcement union leaders speak for us. Mayor de Blasio, PBA boss Lynch and Reverend Sharpton have their own personal war to fight – with each other. Don’t count on any of them to push the city in a direction of awareness and understanding.
Do your part.
Take the streets back by letting a cop know how much you appreciate them. It can work.
This week gives us time to spend with our family. It doesn’t matter what side of the fence you are on this debate, reflect on how you can help change the culture of the city.