Dec 30, 2014

NYC Police Must Be Held to the Highest Professional Standards and Proper Decorum. Mayor de Blasio Must Take Control of this Vital Agency

A police officer who wears the uniform, employed and paid by the people has to be professional at all times, especially when present at official events. Many police have been turning their back to mayor Bill de Blasio, as they did when he visited the hospital where killed officer Ramos had been taken and later during his funeral. This behavior is totally unacceptable, unless you're a hot-headed officer who wants to play politics at a bad time and show disrespect to the whole community.

I'd go as far as to say that the police officers who engage in such behavior are not earning any respect; they're squandering the support of many in our community that they're sworn to protect. Oh, yes, it is their job to protect us without violating our civil liberties! If they don't like it, they should find another job. We should expel those few of their members who exhibit thuggish behavior, who do not want to be held to the highest professional standards--especially because we entrust them to use lethal force if necessary. They should do the job they're hired for not the job they might like. Of course, they perform duties that occasionally (or for a few, frequently, depending on their particular position in the force) puts them in harm's way. On the other hand, being a police officer isn't one of the most dangerous jobs, by far! They also get generous benefits, and retire earlier.

Of course, the killing of the two patrolmen, execution style, by a deranged individual is a very tragic incident. It doesn't represent the people who've been protesting police practices that result in death. Many may have participated in those protests, holding signs saying that, people's lives matter, no matter the color of their skins. And we expect the police to protect us, including when we protest--which is what the right of free speech is. We can hold the police in great regard but also criticize the wrong-doings. These two aren't mutually exclusive as the police union seems to think.

Mayor de Blasio acknowledged the right of the community to protest, that black lives matter, and that, in the past, he had a talk with his teenager, bi-racial son (who spots a big afro) to be smart about a possible contact with police. Isn't the latter a reality? That black men have been treated differently than other groups? So, acknowledging the obvious doesn't make the mayor out of line or disrespectful.

The police union portrays the officers are victims. They are not. They are employees in a democratic society that have to respect the law, and exhibit professional decorum. I think the mayor has to start taking names and show the police union who is the boss under our system of laws and elections. Outside their uniform, off duty, every police officer can turn their back to the mayor, protest, etc. But, they should not be allowed to be unprofessional from now on.  I also think that they have to be reminded the chain of command. They know how to follow orders and follow procedure. It's a language they understand and, if the mayor doesn't act soon, he'll lose control of the situation and of a vital agency of the city.