The protests against police brutality in the wake of the murder of George Floyd by a law enforcement officer have spread throughout the country’s major cities. The escalated clashes between activists and police have in turn given birth to a wave of shocking police brutality, with countless clips emerging of officers beating peaceful protestors, maiming them with rubber bullets, and even hitting them with moving vehicles.
New York: #BlackLivesMatter protesters demonstrate peacefully with their hands up.
An NYPD cop pulls a man’s facemask down and pepper sprays him directly in the face for no reason. pic.twitter.com/jrsNEQNdS9
— Chad Loder (@chadloder) May 31, 2020
In their ruthless campaign to enforce their so-called “order,” the cops have made it painfully clear just how badly our policing system in America needs serious systemic change. The status quo isn’t working and until our government officials recognize that fact and take action innocent people are going to keep dying at the hands of the police.
Holy shit the NYPD just attacked the protesters for no reason. Oh my god. pic.twitter.com/P3wRjZg1xy
— Nate Igor Smith (@drivenbyboredom) June 1, 2020
A crucial first step in fixing this problem will be tackling police unions. In their current form, they exert an outsized political influence on our cities and justice system and often prevent bad cops from being held accountable for violent misdeeds. Until these unions are seriously curtailed or even abolished, real change is almost impossible.
Share widely: National guard and MPD sweeping our residential street. Shooting paint canisters at us on our own front porch. Yelling “light em up” #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd #JusticeForGeorge #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/bW48imyt55
— Tanya Kerssen (@tkerssen) May 31, 2020
A shocking example of just how terrible these unions can sometimes be was provided by the Sergeant Benevolent Association, an NYPD union, over the weekend. The SBA tweeted out a police report containing the personal information of Chiara de Blasio, daughter of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio after she was arrested for joining in the protests. De Blasio himself has long been a target of the SBA and their disdain for the Democratic mayor is well known.
The tweet has since been deleted.
The stunningly irresponsible move not only put Chiara de Blasio’s life in danger but also demonstrated what a vindictive, petty organization the SBA really is. If they can’t be trusted with this kind of personal information without abusing it, how can they be trusted to fairly police the streets of New York?
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) retweeted thee SBA story and correctly called the behavior “indefensible.” She condemned the union for publicly threatening Ms. De Blasio and pointed out that the NYPD’s $6 billion budget is clearly not helping maintain the peace since police officers seem incapable of any kind of real de-escalation. Her criticism is spot on and the city of New York has to take a long hard look at how its tax dollars are spent on policing. Something needs to change and it needs to change now.
Last night the NYPD Sergeants’ union *publicly threatened the mayor’s daughter* while they held her.
If police budgets bought peace, the $6 *billion* NYPD budget would’ve bought the most sophisticated de-escalatory operation in the world.
Clearly, it didn’t. https://t.co/wjl8MG059w
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 1, 2020
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