Bloomberg Defends Stop-And-Frisk, Decries Critics 'Pointing Fingers From City Hall' By Pointing Fingers From NYPD Headquarters
from the pot-decries-kettles'-blackness;-NYPD-books-same,-citing-'public-blacknes dept
Everything questionable that Bloomberg has overseen in his position as mayor of New York -- all the civil rights violations, all the increased surveillance, all the the dubious actions and policies that sent the message that Bloomberg was very interested in crafting a hybrid nanny/police state -- is coming home to roost.
With the police force under attack from multiple lawsuits and his soda ban overturned by a NY judge for being "arbitrary and capricious" (name a ban that isn't), Bloomberg is on the defensive -- and he sounds it. Rather than addressing concerns with thoughtful answers, the mayor has decided to respond by lashing out at his critics and backing up his dubious claims with even worse rationale.
Bloomberg pointed fingers and threw out the obligatory 9/11 card during his speech/diatribe delivered from the friendly confines of the NYPD headquarters. Bloomberg's comments hold everyone accountable for the current unpleasantness (and future theoretic unpleasantness) -- everyone but Bloomberg and the NYPD. The arguments Bloomberg uses are so abysmal it's almost possible to believe this is a very broadly played satire, rather than an actual event that actually happened. Just take a look at this statement.
“God forbid terrorists succeed in striking our city because of a politically driven law that undermines the N.Y.P.D.’s intelligence gathering efforts,” he said."Terrorists." "God forbid." Someone needs to find a new rhetorical device.
Believe it or not, this is Bloomberg's argument against appointing an independent Inspector General to review police policies. The argument has two parts, both equally awful. The first uses the tired "but terrorism" threat/excuse/cliche. The second part actually makes the claim that an Inspector General would result in other agencies being less willing to share info with the NYPD. That may be true, but why is it true and why is this an "acceptable" truth? To put it in words frequently directed towards US citizens: what do they have to hide?
Bloomberg's words play to the home crowd (NYPD) , but holy shit is that an ugly bit of truth to (inadvertently) drop in the middle of a loaded sentence. If NYPD intelligence gathering is "undermined" by the presence of independent oversight, the problem is with the NYPD and every agency that decideds to cut them out of the loop, willfully endangering the public in favor of CYA opacity.
Bloomberg said more, but this statement is just terrible. It indicates there's an acceptable level of corruption within the police force and that the mayor has no interest in addressing that issue. Everything else becomes so much banality aimed at satiating his audience, a collection of NYPD police chiefs. There's terrorism (again):
“Look at what’s happened in Boston,” Mr. Bloomberg said. “Remember what happened here on 9/11. Remember all of those who’ve been killed by gun violence and the families they left behind.”OK. And what? Honor their memories by giving the police carte blanche to shove any citizen up against the nearest wall and pat them down? Cover every inch of the city with cameras, microphones and facial recognition software in hopes of "preventing" a statistically anomalous event (and proclaiming victory when the more statistically probable nothing continues to happen)?
To top this all off, Bloomberg steps past the empty rhetoric and defense of shady police "business as usual" to hypocritically deride others for "playing politics with people's lives."
“The attacks most often come from those who play no constructive role in keeping our city safe, but rather, view their jobs as pointing fingers from the steps of City Hall,” he said.Said the man who is City Hall, pointing fingers from NYPD headquarters.
Bloomberg's statements are ugly, but at least they were delivered out in the open, rather than in a closed-door meeting with the "home team." All of Bloomberg's finger pointing and cheap rationale is a matter of public record. This is a small, inadvertent, victory. Bloomberg wants his constituents' lives to be open books, but wants the NYPD to remain an inscrutable, unassailable means of enforcement and "security." That's a load of crap and Bloomberg seems to be having trouble shoveling it correctly. If he keeps feeling this sort of heat, we may see him slipping into full blown opacity or devolving even further into a ranting apologist for systemic failure.