I wrote an editorial last year for this program saying that the country should pay attention to the mayoral election in New York City.
I said it was one of the most important races in the world because of the city’s controversial stop and frisk policy and because other cities around the country might have to take heed as to how the new mayor went about making changes to city’s police department.
When I said that many people would be made to think that it was a choice of safety versus political correctness, many people misconstrued my words.
Yet here we are.
Following the announcement that there would be no indictment of the officer who was involved in the Eric Garner chokehold death and then after the assassination of two NYPD officers Mayor Bill de Blasio has found himself at the center of a firestorm.
Many of the officers feel that, through his remarks, the mayor sided with the people who are protesting on the city’s streets rather than the officers who are sworn to keep those streets safe.
When Mayor de Blasio visited the hospital where the two officers were pronounced dead, NYPD rank and file turned their backs on the mayor as he walked by; symbolizing their feeling that the mayor has turned his back on them.
After the officers’ death the head of the officer’s biggest union, Patrick Lynch did not hold back in his criticism of the mayor, saying along with protesters, the mayor has blood on his hands.
“That blood on the hands starts on the steps of city hall in the office of the mayor.”
CNN’s Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin says he hasn’t seen this big a division between the mayor and the New York City Police Department since John Lindsay was mayor in the 1960’s.
But Toobin rejects the union’s portrayal of de Blasio.
“I think the union leadership of the New York City cops has been totally disgraceful. The kind of language they’re using, saying the blood is on the hands of Mayor de Blasio is ridiculous. There is nothing that Mayor de Blasio said that inspired this evil man who killed his girlfriend or shot his girlfriend earlier in the day, this psychotic to kill these two brave police officers. I think the union officials have done nothing but poison the relationship in the city, and I don’t think you can blame Mayor de Blasio for that.”
Still there are people both in politics and out who are going as far as demanding that the mayor step down, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly among them.
“This is an individual to resign today. Today. He cannot run this city, he’s lost control of the police department and their respect. They will never come back no matter what he says, because he sided with the protesters. That’s what he did. And he associated with provocateurs. And he has disgraced the office of mayor of New York City. He should resign.”
There are other voices who are calling for the mayor’s job saying he no longer commands the respect of the city’s police department.
Some of those same voices are saying President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder and other community activists are responsible for ratcheting up the rhetoric which precipitated the murder of the two officers.
This has become more political than anyone dare expected.
And mark my words, fasten your seatbelts, this is just the beginning.
It’s going to be a bumpy 2015.
The Division Between NYPD + Mayor de Blasio Will Only Get Worse In 2015 was originally published on blackamericaweb.com