This past week has been a rough one for the city of New York. Now, the New York Police Department has stopped policing, literally.
Strifed with protests following an early December grand jury decision to not indict police officers for killing Eric Garner, an unarmed African American, the NYPD has seen two of its officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, shot dead on the street by a mentally ill man named Ismaaiyl Brinsley.
Since then, the NYPD and Mayor Bill de Blasio have been clashing over why they are not unified during this tumultuous time.
New York Magazine has reported that the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, a New York police union, issued a memo to its officers saying that “absolutely NO enforcement action in the form of arrests and or summonses is to be taken unless absolutely necessary.”
While the union denied that the memo exists, the New York Post has found results that prove it does.
When comparing the amount of arrests this past week to last year, the Post found that the number of overall arrests in the city are down 66 percent.Citations for low-level offenses including traffic violations, public drinking, and parking violations are all down over 90 percent. To get a sense of the amount, traffic violations fell from 10,069 last year, to only 587 this past week. One would think that some officers are not meeting their quota.
But the Atlantic does not think that this lack of policing is necessarily a bad thing. Right now, the NYPD are making arrests only “when they have to.” So they begged the question, how many unnecessary arrests was the NYPD making before now? Maybe this “absolutely necessary” standard should be the norm.
While that points to the issue of reform, the NYPD is just acting like a girl with a broken heart, who's boyfriend wont protect her when she needs him the most.
“This is not a slowdown for slowdown’s sake. Cops are concerned, after the reaction from City Hall on the Garner case, about de Blasio not backing them,” a source told the Post.
This is a legitmate concern. Every police department accross the nation deserves the backing of their mayor.
Yet, this isn't the only way they have protested the mayor. At Officer Rafael Ramo's funeral, hundreds of officers turned their backs to the mayor when his face appeared on the giant television. Then at a NYPD graduation ceremony, the Daily Beast writes that boos came from the families of graduates as he entered.
Today, de Balsio and the five police unions will meet to discus the rift. For now, the streets of New York are being policed by officers who fear for their lives.