Why Police Feel They’re Under Siege

Reflecting on the senseless murder of two officers, a reader passes along the disgusting video seen above:

I follow my local precinct on Twitter, to get neighborhood news. And a week or so before the murders, they posted a link to a video with protestors chanting for cops to be killed. I think it was going around in police circles.

I think we have to understand the police response in this context. They felt very much under attack by the mayor, who didn’t have their back against the protestors. And they saw this video, and many of them said someone was going to kill a cop. And then someone killed two cops.

My sympathies are very much with the protestors in general (though not these protestors). When I saw the video, I thought the cops were being hysterical. I thought, of course no one is going to do anything to the cops; no one ever does anything to the cops. And I was totally wrong.

Another reader is disappointed with our coverage of police issues:

I’ve been a cop since 2006 and will be the first to admit that some cops are evil and have no right wearing the badge, but good cops despise those cops. In the aftermath of the Michael Brown and Eric Garner deaths, a narrative was pushed painting all cops as racists bent on murdering black males. While you haven’t been as anti-cop as others, you have contributed to the narrative.

With every other topic you examine, you report or post emails from as many different points of view as possible. Most times you post emails from readers or professionals directly involved in the topic; however, I’ve yet to see a single point of view from a cop.

Additionally, after a grand jury failed to indict Darren Wilson, you published articles stating how rare it is for grand juries to not indict people. It gave the perception that police get away with murder because of their position. You completely ignored the fact that at the very same time in South Carolina, three white cops were indicted for shooting unarmed black men.

I have no issue with questioning police tactics or use of force policies. In fact, I believe it’s an important component of a free society. What I take issue with is not giving an equal voice to the overwhelming majority of cops who are good people. This leads me to my last point.

On Saturday, two NYPD cops were executed simply because of the uniform they wore. They were sitting in their patrol car when they were ambushed. The murderer, whose name doesn’t deserve mentioning, killed those cops to “avenge” Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

It had taken almost two days for you to post about the shooting. I read the post and realized it’s not a condemnation of the shooting; the deaths of two cops is almost secondary to its point. The article is a condemnation of Giuliani and Union President Lynch for suggesting an anti-cop attitude may have contributed to the murders. The rebuttals to Giuliani and Lynch argue that they have no right to feel that way because the protestors are just expressing themselves.

You referred to police turning their backs on de Blasio as “antics.” Lynch has been accused of smearing, ranting, and being divisive to the point of savagery. In one fell swoop, you and your fellow journalists defend de Blasio’s and the protestor’s right to free speech while condemning Giuliani’s and Lynch’s use of it. You haven’t taken a second to allow a cop or their representatives to explain why they feel the way they do. I can tell you for a fact that every cop I know feels there is an anti-cop movement taking place.

Update from a reader, “Are you SURE that video is real?”, pointing to another viral video of protesters allegedly chanting violent anti-cop messages:

A Fox affiliate in Baltimore aired a segment on Sunday showing footage from a “Justice For All” demonstration in Washington, D.C. in which it edited a chant to sound like protestors were shouting “kill a cop.”

“At this rally in Washington, D.C. protestors chanted, ‘we won’t stop, we can’t stop, so kill a cop,'” the WBFF broadcast said.

But the full footage, flagged by Gawker on Monday via C-SPAN, revealed that the chant was “we won’t stop, we can’t stop, ’til killer cops are in cell blocks.”