While he says protesters have legitimate concerns about police, he also says we need to stop demonizing the entire department.
As protests continue to rage across the city, the Archbishop of New York is coming to the defense of the New York Police Department.
Timothy Cardinal Dolan says enough with the verbal and physical attacks on officers.
“There’s a big difference between healthy, logical, rational criticism, which they need. There’s a big difference between that and attack and taunting and insulting,” Dolan told CBS2’s Andrea Grymes.
The cardinal wrote about this in his new op-ed in the New York Post with the headline “For God’s Sake, Stop Demonizing The NYPD.”
“Our police officers have one of the most demanding, perilous, stressful duties around,” he wrote. “Now we have added to their load with continual, at times exaggerated, rash and inaccurate criticism – combined with rocks, Molotov cocktails and taunts flung by hotheads and radicals.”
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Dolan described the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis as a “vicious killing” which “reminded us in a nauseating way that for some cops, black lives do not matter.”
But in New York, he believes the vast majority of police officers are good and do not deserve to be on the receiving end of attacks.
Dolan says he was particularly disturbed by a video from last weekend in Harlem that shows people throwing bottles and garbage at police cars responding to potential gunshots.
The cardinal says he does support peaceful protest.
He also says he has listened to African Americans who have told him, “‘We want a strong police force, but we want to make sure that any type of corruption, any type of overreaction is eradicated.’ I’d agree with them on that.”
Dolan believes the NYPD has made positive changes in recent years, but more will only come through constructive conversation, not angry attacks.
He also says it bothers him that the city has cut the NYPD’s budget while also asking them to make more reforms.