NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – As the nation mourns the deaths of five slain police officers in Dallas, killed in the wake of the shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile by police, the head of the Sergeants Benevolent Association is speaking out.
In a letter to his membership, Ed Mullins blasts President Barack Obama, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and Mayor Bill de Blasio for “irresponsible, insensitive and incendiary words” that were “reverberating in the collective national psyche.”
“Domestic terrorists utilized the cover of a peaceful demonstration in Dallas, Texas, to – in their own words – ‘kill white people,'” Mullins wrote. “The ‘white people’ happened to be five Dallas-area police officers, five of whom were killed and seven who were seriously wounded by snipers armed with high-powered assault rifles.”
Mullins wrote that he is angry with both “the gunmen, as well as the elected officials whose inappropriate choice of words provided the killers with tacit support.”
Here’s the complete text of Mullins’ note to his membership:
Dear Fellow Sergeant,
With the irresponsible, insensitive and incendiary words of President Obama, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio reverberating in the collective national psyche, domestic terrorists utilized the cover of a peaceful demonstration in Dallas, Texas, to – in their own words – “kill white people.”
The “white people” happened to be five Dallas-area police officers, five of whom were killed and seven who were seriously wounded by snipers armed with high-powered assault rifles.
As we mourn our fallen brothers and sisters, my anger is palpable and directed toward the gunmen, as well as the elected officials whose inappropriate choice of words provided the killers with tacit support.
Much blame lies with feckless political leadership at all levels of government. Prior to the slaughter of the officers in Dallas, President Obama weighed in on the shooting of a black motorist by a white officer in Minnesota.
Before any of the facts were in or any semblance of an investigation had taken place, Obama addressed what he called racial inequities in the United States by saying, “This is not just a black issue, not just a Hispanic issue. This is an American issue that we should all care about.”
What exactly was he implying?
Shortly afterwards, Governor Mark Dayton of Minnesota, a white man, offered his own opinion of the shooting.
“Would this have happened if the driver were white, if the passengers were white?” he asked with strategic Marilyn Mosby-type self-righteous indignation at a nationally televised press conference. “I don’t think it would have.”
Talk about painting with a broad brush. The governor didn’t just throw the officer under the bus, he backed up over him with such premature, idiotic and inflammatory rhetoric.
Not to be outdone, Mayor de Blasio offered his own narrative, which was no different than what we have heard so many times from him before.
“No parent of color, or parent of a child of color, can watch that and not be afraid,” he opined. “You fear for the life of a child when you see a situation like this because it’s inexplicable.”
What is even more inexplicable is how our purported leaders refuse to acknowledge the correlation between the cessation of proactive enforcement and the runaway murder rate in communities of color throughout the United States.
Between January and May 2016, for example, a person was shot every two and a half hours and a murder was committed every 14 hours in Chicago. Over the most recent Memorial Day weekend, 69 people – or one per hour – were shot.
None of these killings were the result of police officers, yet there was nary a murmur from Mayor Rahm Emanuel or any other “leaders” claiming to speak for the collective good of the public.
On the very rare occasions that police officers are involved in fatal shootings of people of color, any attempt at thoughtfulness or logical thinking is often immediately thrown out the window.
Regarding the recent shooting in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for example, it is never mentioned that the police responded to that location because they were directed to do so by a 911 dispatcher who told them the man was armed with a gun that he was threatening and intimidating people with.
Had the armed man not resisted arrest, there is little to no chance that the unfortunate incident would have ended as it did.
The detractors who say the police have no empathy for communities of color could not be more wrong. In the 1990s, the NYPD initiated the then-lauded stop, question and frisk program which inarguably saved tens of thousands of lives – the majority of whom were people of color.
Despite the program being an example of proactive, creative policing at its finest, a federal judge, as well as legions of political progressives and social naysayers, denounced the highly successful program as arbitrarily racist.
As esteemed author Heather MacDonald points out in her recently released bestselling book, “The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe,” it is people of color living in poor communities who want, need and deserve a police presence in their neighborhoods more than anyone else.
As I’ve said many times before, communities of color are entitled to the same degree of policing professionalism as all others. Because of increased violence in these areas, police are directed there in high numbers – only to find themselves rebuffed by a small percentage of people who – if you were to listen to media reports – speak for the majority of neighborhood denizens.
The reality is that nothing could be further from the truth.
The myth of the police being unwanted in those communities is as ludicrous and insulting as the reports of rampant police abuses in Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore, Maryland. The Ferguson case, despite it being proven to be completely untrue, has created what is now known as the Ferguson Effect, wherein normally proactive police officers choose to be only responsive in order to ward off unwarranted criticism and potential lawsuits.
In the Baltimore case, city attorney Marilyn Mosby brought unwarranted charges against six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray. As we have seen from the three trials that have already taken place, once the evidence was presented and dissected, the case had no merit whatsoever.
Simply put, the “murders” of innocent black civilians in Ferguson and Baltimore never happened.
In the wake of these most recent events, I am urging Police Commissioner Bratton to equip frontline supervisors with assault rifles and ballistic shields. The climate in which we are now working is as dangerous and unpredictable as it has ever been in history.
We cannot place our trust in any of our purported leaders, such as a sitting president, governor or mayor who put race before justice and common sense, or a presidential aspirant who showed gross negligence in the handling of highly sensitive government documents.
Police officers have millions of encounters with people from all backgrounds throughout a given year. A miniscule amount of those encounters end up being controversial. Regardless of the rhetoric, we are the good guys and the bashing and incessant Monday-morning quarterbacking must stop.
I urge you all to take a minute today to think of all the social good you provide. It is because of us that children can play safely in playgrounds, and people can go back and forth to work in one piece.
Please say a prayer for our fallen Americans – true heroes of this nation – and the city of Dallas. Remember their families and colleagues. We are all in this together, and we need each other more than ever during these dangerous and daunting times.