Top NYPD Official Says Cops Don't Need To Worry About Being Criminally Charged For Violating Chokehold Ban

from the no-law-can-stop-us.-we're-law-enforcement-officers. dept

Surprising exactly no one, an NYPD official has declared NYPD officers to be above the law. In response to the George Floyd killing -- a killing carried out by a Minnesota police officer who crushed Floyd's throat with his knee until no pulse could be detected… and then continued for another three minutes -- resulted in the city passing a new law forbidding officers from choking the life out of arrestees. Seems reasonable.

Top brass disagrees. The NYPD's Chief of Department told officers no stupid law was going to keep them from restraining people to death.

“We can’t be afraid. We’ve got every D.A. come out and say they’re not going to charge that,” Chief Terence Monahan said at a recent CompStat meeting, at which department brass discuss crime trends.

“We can’t be afraid to do what we do. We can’t walk away,” Monahan bellowed at the meeting.

I guess the NYPD is above the law because those above these law enforcement officers are selective about what laws they'll enforce or against whom. The Chief feels no DA will charge a cop for violating the new law. At least one DA sort of disagrees.

Asked for comment, Manhattan D.A. Cyrus Vance’s spokesman pointed to a statement Vance made on NY1 saying the city law likely won’t survive legal challenges, partly because it’s pre-empted by the state’s chokehold ban, which doesn’t include the city law’s language meant to stop cops from blocking a suspect’s diaphragm.

Here come the conflicts of law to take away the "threat" posed to officers who like to ensure compliance by depriving them of oxygen. I'm sure the laws conflict. That's what laws tend to do when they're written quickly in response to incidents that demand an immediate response. But I'm sure Vance feels way more conflicted about the possibility he'll have to bring charges against NYPD officers -- men and women who tend to see him as an ally, rather than a neutral enforcer of laws.

Even the asshole fine gentleman who runs one of New York City's police unions thinks Chief Monahan's statement was out of line. But his only complaint is that it wasn't a memo issued to New York's finest, giving them a free pass on chokeholds.

Patrick Lynch, the head of the Police Benevolent Association, said Monahan’s belief city prosecutors won’t enforce the city law is misplaced.

“If every DA believes that, they need to say so publicly to the cops on the street,” said Lynch. “Otherwise, we have to assume that we are risking arrest any time we lay hands on a criminal who won’t go quietly.”

It's amazing that Lynch can still play the victim, presenting the officers he represents as pawns in an unjust system. It appears Lynch believes officers should stay away from anyone they might have to use force to subdue. To do otherwise is to risk criminal charges because there's apparently no middle ground where officers can effect an arrest without choking someone.

Meanwhile, other NYPD brass are offering up the parade of horribles they believe will be visited upon them by the city's new law. The trolley car problem presented by the new law says an officer can avoid choking someone or they can choke someone and possibly face criminal charges. But this official says the only choice presented here is arrest or not arrest, with "arrest" directing the city's law train right across the bodies of officers tied to the tracks of this false dichotomy.

“Their thing is, they’re concerned .... They’re concerned about a bag of crack off the right person, the right dealer, and their knee accidentally, unintentionally going on their back, and then being arrested,” said Manhattan North detective bureau head Deputy Chief Brian McGee.

Come on, Bri. Do you seriously think DAs aren't going to give officers every possible benefit of a doubt before bringing criminal charges? Do you really think an inadvertent move -- corrected quickly -- will be viewed as the intentional violation of the chokehold law? This isn't what's going to get officers charged. It's going to be clear, deliberate violations. And even that might not be enough. This is a panic over nothing more than a slight dent in police officers' autonomy -- one that asks they be a little more considerate of the lives in their hands.

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Filed Under: chokehold, nypd, prosecutors


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  • identicon
    ryuugami, 28 Jul 2020 @ 3:48am

    "We can’t be afraid to do what we do. We can’t walk away," Monahan bellowed at the meeting.

    "We have to keep standing there, unmoving, right on their throats," he probably continued.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Annonymouse, 28 Jul 2020 @ 4:37am

    Isn't it breaking the law to aid abett or encourage someone to break the law?
    So why isn't anyone calling for the energetic arrest and detention of these lawbreakers who will then need to be kept in isolation and on suicide watch?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 28 Jul 2020 @ 4:50am

    Anybody reads that as I do?

    “If every DA believes that, they need to say so publicly to the cops on the street,” said Lynch. “Otherwise, we have to assume that we are risking arrest any time we lay hands on a criminal who won’t go quietly.”

    Is that "go" used in the meaning of "die"? Because nobody is going to walk in a chokehold.

    Why are those kind of statements associated with "law and order"? Lynching and extrajudicial killings are anything but "law and order". They are anarchy, the absence of law and order.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 28 Jul 2020 @ 5:22am

      Similarly: Note how he says “criminal” instead of “suspect”. That sounds like he thinks everyone arrested by the NYPD is guilty of a crime.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Jul 2020 @ 5:49am

      Re: Anybody reads that as I do?

      Why are those kind of statements associated with "law and order"? Lynching and extrajudicial killings are anything but "law and order". They are anarchy, the absence of law and order.

      Because the "law and order" they, and those that support them, crave is of the "do as I say or else" type. To them, a perceived infraction against an authority (law) can only be met with an immediate harsher punishment (order). Even if that harsher punishment results in death, to them it must be done to ensure compliance of others, and to remind others of society's pecking order.

      Is it legitimate? Of course not. Legitimacy matters little to those who practice it though. Might makes right in their minds and nothing you say to them in words will change that because they accept nothing else.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Norahc (profile), 28 Jul 2020 @ 5:08am

    Let me guess...that means they will be returning to the age old tradtions of beatings, blackjacks (hoping that word isn't racist), saps, batons, Tasers and shooting people instead.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Cowardly Lion, 28 Jul 2020 @ 5:10am

    Orwell

    “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.”

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jul 2020 @ 5:43am

    "We’ve got every D.A. come out and say they’re not going to charge that"

    And here is a huge part of the problem, they say shit like equal justice under the law all the while not doing their sworn duties and they call this law and order.

    The people are not that stupid and many of them are sick and tired of being murdered, beaten and generally maltreated by the street thugs otherwise known as the police.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jul 2020 @ 6:34am

    I have a question for the New York Police Department

    How many of you are "Judge Dredd" fans?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Norahc (profile), 28 Jul 2020 @ 8:33am

      Re: I have a question for the New York Police Department

      Once again, "Judge Dredd" is NOT a how-to training film for law enforcement.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 28 Jul 2020 @ 8:38am

      Re: I have a question for the New York Police Department

      Not many I imagine, as while they probably gleefully enjoy the 'allowed to kill someone on the spot' part they are likely really not fans of the 'stickler for the rules and actually respects and follows the law' part.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 28 Jul 2020 @ 6:19pm

        Which is why a significant number of cops are fans of The Punisher.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 28 Jul 2020 @ 10:39pm

          Re:

          Which would be an 'interesting' choice to be sure, as I'm pretty sure 'corrupt cops who assault/murder innocent people' would not be on the Punisher's 'good guys' list.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            ryuugami, 29 Jul 2020 @ 3:37am

            Re: Re:

            Obviously, they don't see themselves as "corrupt cops who assault/murder innocent people", but as "heroes of justice who harshly punish the criminal scum".

            Remember that not even Nazis, the epitome of evil for (most of) the modern society, thought of themselves as villains.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Aug 2020 @ 2:35pm

        Re: Re: I have a question for the New York Police Department

        Everyone of those cops were probably creaming their pants the first time good faith and immunity resounded in a courtroom.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jul 2020 @ 7:03am

    The police officer did not crush george floyd's throat, his knee was on the back of his neck, you can't choke someone to death like that, and george floyd died from a fentanyl overdose.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Jul 2020 @ 7:09am

      Re:

      Multiple coroners disagree with you. Crappy talking point though. How does that RWNJ pablum taste?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Jul 2020 @ 7:46am

      Re:

      Frequently repeating a lie does not turn it into the truth.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 28 Jul 2020 @ 7:50am

      you can't choke someone to death like that

      Tell that to George Floyd.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      crade (profile), 28 Jul 2020 @ 12:18pm

      Re:

      "george floyd died from a fentanyl overdose"
      No no the cops sat on him too long for that they would have to have injected him while sitting on him.
      No it was because he ate a bad peanut earlier that day

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 29 Jul 2020 @ 8:05am

      Re:

      "The police officer did not crush george floyd's throat..."

      That would have been more merciful.

      "...his knee was on the back of his neck, you can't choke someone to death like that..."

      Two coroners and every medical professional to make a statement about it, worldwide beg to differ. That is why the knee to the throat is outright banned in most of the rest of the world as a maneuver which easily kills rather than incapacitates.

      "...and george floyd died from a fentanyl overdose."

      Not even the police coroner who initially autopsied Floyd agrees with you on that. For fentanyl to be the cause of death Floyd would needed to have ingested it in such amounts that he would not have been walking around - or the officers on scene would have had to administer it.

      So we have both the police coroner, the private doctor, AND the DA currently not agreeing with you.

      But you do you and keep lying through your teeth about how officers caught on camera slowly and brutally murdered an unresisting citizen.

      You know what really gets to me? The classical old nazis may have been monsters but at least they didn't try to hide how they really felt. American white "supremacists" can't even get themselves to point a finger at a minority without first telling themselves a mile's worth of bullshit about how "those people" are really awful. Abject cowardice seems to be the most prevalent trait owned by the typical US bigot.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 29 Jul 2020 @ 11:57am

        Nazis and their miles

        Oh, the Nazis had their miles of bullshit as well. One of the more fascinating pursuits of trying to understand the Holocaust was looking at the extensive rhetoric about Jews used to justify their segregation, internment and eventual evacuation. What was curious to me was none of it was valid critique of the Jewish culture. It was all the baby-killing, the conspiracies, the intrinsic inferiority; fictitious wickedness that ultimately is attributed to any social enemy.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 30 Jul 2020 @ 1:24am

          Re: Nazis and their miles

          "What was curious to me was none of it was valid critique of the Jewish culture. It was all the baby-killing, the conspiracies, the intrinsic inferiority; fictitious wickedness that ultimately is attributed to any social enemy."

          Much like the current alt-right describes Black Lives Matter then.

          Yes, perhaps there are people from the KKK and neo-nazis who have the spine to stand up and emulate their snappily dressed spiritual peers from the SS...but it's easy to forget that specific symbol of evil is just the tip of the pyramid on top of a beer-sodden mob of mindless tools chanting whichever murky fairy tale allows them to think of themselves as not the worst losers possible.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 Aug 2020 @ 2:40pm

          Re: Nazis and their miles

          What holocaust? That never happened.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jul 2020 @ 7:13am

    In other words selective enforcement and a two tiered justice

    This guy just used words that the world can use to dismantle police unions. They are admitting that they don't care about innocence or guilt because if they were a uniform, they have superpowers that make every violent act justified. Every time they beat a suspect, that suspect deserved it. Every time they kill someone, that death helps make us more free. They are living in a comic book reality and we are the things they are trying to clean up from the street.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Improbus (profile), 28 Jul 2020 @ 7:22am

    Here is what to say if a policeman wont follow the Law

    You're FIRED!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 28 Jul 2020 @ 7:36am

    "Police Benevolent Association"

    They must have had someone from Capitol hill come up with their name...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 28 Jul 2020 @ 8:04am

      Re:

      Oh it's accurate, you just need to read it as benevolent to police rather than benevolent police, as while they could not care less about anyone without a badge they always have the backs of those with them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 28 Jul 2020 @ 12:35pm

      Soon to be...

      the Shining Happy Police Benevolent Association of American Greatness

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 28 Jul 2020 @ 8:11am

    Might as well be concerned about unicorn attacks

    “Their thing is, they’re concerned .... They’re concerned about a bag of crack off the right person, the right dealer, and their knee accidentally, unintentionally going on their back, and then being arrested,” said Manhattan North detective bureau head Deputy Chief Brian McGee.

    And members of the public are concerned that a cop is going to choke someone to death simply because they can(in broad daylight, while several other cops watch), however history only suggests that one of those concerns is justified, would you like to take a wild guess as to which?

    If cops are so terrified that they might face some sort of investigation for doing the job then they have shown both their cowardice and that they care more about protecting themselves than protecting the public, and 'public servants' like that we can most certainly do without. Feel free to take your murderous, cowardly asses to some other profession where you won't have to be terrified day in and day out of 'accidentally* choking someone to death and maybe possibly facing the potential of an inquiring into the act.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Jul 2020 @ 8:25am

      Re: Might as well be concerned about unicorn attacks

      Public Cowards seems fitting every time they justify shooting someone who was running from them because they feared for their life.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 28 Jul 2020 @ 8:32am

        Re: Re: Might as well be concerned about unicorn attacks

        Well I mean you never know, the person running away from them might have been running to get in a tank, much better to play it safe and gun them down before that dire possibility comes to pass.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Jul 2020 @ 9:30am

        Re: Re: Might as well be concerned about unicorn attacks

        Why of course the police officer has something to fear. Since we live on Earth, any straight line route is a great circle route. So the perp isn't running away. He's running towards the officer from behind! Never mind that he's almost 25 thousand miles away. He's still running towards the officer from behind, and during his advance, he might arm himself. So obviously the office is in fear of bodily harm and is fully justified in using deadly force.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jul 2020 @ 10:10am

    “We can’t be afraid to do what we do. We can’t walk away,” Monahan bellowed at the meeting.

    Why not? Doctors, engineers, architects and plenty of other jobs that imply responsibility risk being sued for doing their jobs (sometimes even if they do nothing wrong).

    Yes, they are afraid to do what they do, but they still do it. And do it right.

    That's called being a professional.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 28 Jul 2020 @ 10:30am

      Re:

      Because they're cowards is why, thugs so used to getting away with anything and everything that the mere thought that someone might try to impose penalties or limits on their actions has them pissing themselves in fear.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 28 Jul 2020 @ 12:09pm

    One dead suspect

    So it sounds like New York City might be one dead suspect away from a few razed precincts and a nasty riot. At least, so long as said suspect is choked to death by law enforcement and caught on multiple private cell-phones.

    The no-choke-holds law was not just for the protection of suspects but of law enforcement from doing something stupid, like suggesting they'll kill whoever they damn well want and will ignore regulations that steer them towards actually having a function on the street.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 28 Jul 2020 @ 3:37pm

      Beatings will continue until complience ensues

      So it sounds like New York City might be one dead suspect away from a few razed precincts and a nasty riot. At least, so long as said suspect is choked to death by law enforcement and caught on multiple private cell-phones.

      Indeed, pretty sure a large source of the frustration and anger that fuel the protests is that police just do whatever the hell they want and to hell with those pesky 'laws' and 'rules', with the ban a weak attempt to appease people who are rightly pissed off. Ignore that ban and people are just going to be even more furious and act accordingly, and the NYPD will have no-one to blame but themselves.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Aug 2020 @ 2:46pm

      Re: One dead suspect

      I can't believe Quomo doesn't have a better grip on these cops. He seems very good at telling adults they can't buy cigarettes or tobacco or plastic bags at a grocery store, but not telling cops to not go there seems befuddling to me, really.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jul 2020 @ 12:13pm

    Accidental shit lasts a second. It doesn't last long enough to suffocate a person.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jul 2020 @ 12:58pm

    These losers still dont get rhat not everyone they lay hands on is a fucking criminal. No wonder protests don't stop. They will never learn because the system itself doesnt even force them to. Thing will change and the cowarly murderers and racists that plague our police will be rooted out. If you are a cop and you are afraid because you cant chocke people to death with impunity then fuck right off and quit. You are not fit for the job.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jul 2020 @ 1:01pm

    These losers still dont get that not everyone they lay hands on is a fucking criminal. No wonder protests don't stop. They will never learn because the system itself doesnt even force them to. Things will change and the cowarly murderers and racists that plague our police will be rooted out one way or another. If you are a cop and you are afraid because you can't chocke people to death with impunity then fuck right off and quit. You are not fit for the job.
    Edit:(rephrased for emphasis)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 28 Jul 2020 @ 1:32pm

    what is the use of camera's then??

    Camera's have many uses, but why use them now?
    It was designed mostly to Stop Fake court cases, where the police had to PROVE they didnt do it. And cost the City TONS of money, that the tax payer had to pay..For some odd reason.

    HOw much of the Costs for the City are given to the citizens..??
    ALL OF IT.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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