NYC Mayor de Blasio Says Police would Use a VERY LIGHT TOUCH when dealing with those out past curfew.
Tonight, June 3 would be the third night of this week’s curfew and the second night of it having begun at 8:00 pm.
I’ve witnessed one video after another on social media, by local journalists and others, displaying the show of force used by the New York Police Department upon individuals. These videos were taken at past the curfew hour which means that the officers were dealing with people who were where they should not have been: On the Streets of NYC.
Yes, they were breaking the law and perhaps, when doing so, one should expect to be reprimanded or arrested. Unprovoked violence is something one shouldn’t have to experience. Not at the hands of law enforcement officials. Whether any of police officers displaying such shows of force were provoked into doing so? I wouldn’t know, but then, it’s a matter of perspective and opinion, isn’t it?
People stuck in traffic are witnessing NYPD beat up folks on their way home. pic.twitter.com/AkUGPQQOIf
— Josh Fox BlackLivesMatter (@joshfoxfilm) June 4, 2020
On Monday, June 1, the first night of NYC’s Curfew, Mayor Bill de Blasio would have an on-the-air discussion with Errol Louis of NY1’s ‘Inside City Hall’. One point of discussion dealt with the NYPD’s handling of those found within the streets past curfew.
Mayor de Blasio:
“But really what the officers are looking for is if they see anything that is an act of violence … But the message to the police precincts the boroughs is, very light touch, only if someone is overtly violating the law is there any reason to engage. And the obvious focus will be on Lower Manhattan and on Downtown Brooklyn where we’ve seen overwhelmingly the only problems with attacks on property.”
Days earlier, on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show, Mr. de Blasio would have also made use of the term “Light Touch”.
Some of the footage from Cadman Plaza this evening pic.twitter.com/J8aa4hkiv6
— Joe Anuta (@joeanuta) June 4, 2020
When asked about police officers having been injured a day earlier, the Mayor responded,
“Yes, … And that’s unacceptable too. I mean, look, I understand the anger of the protestors. And there is no place, literally no place on Earth that respects protest and the right to protest more than New York City. And I had been in a lot of protests in my life. And I really believe the NYPD knows how to handle protests and respect them, whoever’s protesting. I want to see a light touch because people are undeniably angry for a reason. But I also think there’s a really clear line and it’s the same basic moral underpinning. You cannot attack a police officer that, you know, to say the least two wrongs don’t make a right. Attacking a police officer is unacceptable.”
Admittedly, in that last interview, he mentioned the lack of respect members of the NYPD might be experiencing.
Yet, looking back we’d find that term to be a favorite of the Mayor’s. He’s mentioned it numerous times when referencing enforcement personnel’s approach to those not adhering to social distancing rules in light of the COVID-19 crisis.
Now I’ll admit. His use of that term began after a cop was caught on camera brutalizing a man to the ground and threatening folks with a taser gun. All because of what began as a lack of adherence to social distancing concern.
However, it’s interesting how tone-deaf Mr. de Blasio is behaving through his use of the term and how it’s fallen upon deaf ears.
The situation in New York City is not getting better and may not ever get better as long as resentment amongst the people is fired up repeatedly. I’m fearing for our city and for our future. Yes, as I’ve mentioned previously, things may not have gone this far if we weren’t in the middle of a lockdown. Monday’s entry into Phase One Status for us will do little, I’m afraid, towards making a difference. The Mayor’s shown how he’s little control over the actions of police force members. What’s next? Nobody knows.