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Sunday, December 21, 2014

New York Tragedy: The Need for Blame of Brinsley

The brutal ambush and assassination of two New York policemen, Officer Rafael Ramos and Officer Wenjian Liu, by Ismaaiyl Brinsley is an unspeakable act of violence. Without provocation, Brinsley committed the heinous murders just before 3 p.m. on December 20 in Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. The pair never had the chance to draw their own weapons and may never have seen their assailant.

The 28-year-old criminal then ran to the platform of a Subway station on Marcy Avenue and killed himself with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Brinsley was an Afro-American male who had a residence in the Atlanta suburb of Union City, Georgia. He also had addresses in Maryland and Brooklyn. Brinsley reportedly had posted a sinister message on Instagram earlier Satuday along with an image of a silver handgun and hashtags invoking the names of Michael Brown and Eric Garner after having shot and wounded a former girlfriend in Baltimore before traveling to Brooklyn.

Sources say the posts read ...

“I’m Putting Wings On Pigs Today. They Take 1 Of Ours...Let’s Take 2 of Theirs ... This May Be My Final Post...I’m Putting Pigs In A Blanket.” Brinsley wrote, with the hashtags #ShootThePolice #RIPErivGarner #RIPMike Brown. Another post read: “I Rather Die a Gangster Then Go To Sleep A Coward.”

His girlfriend's mother contacted Baltimore police after she noticed Brinsley's comments on Instagram. They reportedly had sent a "warning flier" to police in New York to alert NYPD that Brinsley might be en route to Brooklyn, but the fax tragically arrived at 2:45 p.m. — five minutes before the shooting.

Now, the shock waves of accusation are reverberating around New York and around the nation.

Former New York Governor George Pataki and police union officials quickly lashed out at Mayor Bill de Blasio, whom they accused of putting officers' lives at risk with his support for recent protests.

Pataki cast his disdain at the mayor and the Attorney General in a post on Twitter.

"Sickened by these barbaric acts, which sadly are a predictable outcome of divisive anti-cop rhetoric of (Attorney General) Eric Holder and Mayor de Blasio," he tweeted.

Pataki was referring to de Blasio's and Holder's support for peaceful protesters decrying alleged police brutality after the killing of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, two unarmed black men who died in confrontations with officers this year. In recent days, protesters have taken to streets in New York and nationwide to demand an end to killings of unarmed people by police officers.

Pat Lynch, the head of New York's Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, also has attacked the mayor before and did so again the day of the shooting.

"There's blood on many hands tonight," Lynch said before making reference to the mayor's office.

Faith Karimi, CNN digital news desk editor, reported that the police officers who gathered at the hospital where the slain officers were taken turned their backs on the Mayor de Blasio and "quietly faced the wall" when he entered a news conference to condemn the killings.

De Blasio did not respond to the accusatory comments and gestures, but he condemned the killing of the officers as an "assassination." The mayor said, "When a police officer is murdered, it tears at the foundation of our society. It is an attack on the very concept of decency."

(Faith Karimi. "Backlash, finger-pointing begin after 2 NYPD officers
 are ambushed, killed." CNN. December 21, 2014)

Holder issued a statement Saturday. It reads as follows:

"I condemn this afternoon’s senseless shooting of two New York City police officers in the strongest possible terms. This was an unspeakable act of barbarism, and I was deeply saddened to hear of the loss of these two brave officers in the line of duty.

"On behalf of all those who serve in the United States Department of Justice, I want to express my heartfelt condolences to the officers’ loved ones and colleagues. I will make available all of the resources of the Department to aid the NYPD in investigating this tragedy.

"This cowardly attack underscores the dangers that are routinely faced by those who protect and serve their fellow citizens. As a nation we must not forget this as we discuss the events of the recent past. These courageous men and women routinely incur tremendous personal risks, and place their lives on the line each and every day, in order to preserve public safety. We are forever in their debt.

"Our nation must always honor the valor — and the sacrifices — of all law enforcement officers with a steadfast commitment to keeping them safe. This means forging closer bonds between officers and the communities they serve, so that public safety is not a cause that is served by a courageous few, but a promise that’s fulfilled by police officials and citizens working side by side."

("Attorney General Holder Statement on Assassination of Two New York City Police Officers in Line of Duty." Department of Justice. Office of Public Affairs. December 20, 2014)

My Position

There is absolutely no excuse for an animal like Ismaaiyl Brinsley.

I strongly believe the nation should understand that Brinsley was a criminal, a gangster, and a thug who did not begin his life of crime because of the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. When he murdered the New York officers, he was already a fugitive from justice and a demon bent on blaming his miserable existence on something ... anything. Without reason, he conveniently found his scapegoats in a last-ditch effort to immortalize his immoral notoriety.

According to online records, Ismaaiyl Brinsley had a lengthy arrest record dating back to at least 2006 when he was arrested in Georgia for carrying a concealed weapon, a knife, as well as shoplifting. The next year he was nabbed in Dekalb County, Georgia, for criminal trespassing, and by 2009, he was indicted in Ohio for robbery -- a charge that was later apparently dismissed. In 2011, Brinsley was arrested again in Georgia for reckless conduct, tampering with evidence, criminal property damage, and discharging his weapon. The outcome of the case is unknown.

Brinsley was a worthless individual. This weekend he intended to murder innocents and to commit "suicide by cops." Yet, he was a coward who did not die in a blaze of glory; instead, he took advantage of a fateful opportunity to kill two police officers in cold blood. The "blood" of these two civil servants is directly upon "the hands" of this terrible man.

I respect the right of George Pataki and Pat Lynch to speak their minds about the senseless murders of officers Ramos and Liu. The tragedy is overwhelming. The grief is incomprehensible.

Ramos, a school security officer before joining the NYPD in 2012, had just turned 40 this month; Liu, a seven-year NYPD veteran, had gotten married two months ago. New York Police Commissioner William Bratton said both dreamed of being police officers.

Officer Rafael Ramos had a wife and a 13-year-old son who "couldn't comprehend what happened to his father," Mayor de Blasio said.

De Blasio, in paying tribute to the slain officers, called them "two good men who dedicated their lives to protecting all of us."

How can anyone blame the Attorney General and the Mayor of New York for the tragedy?

Now, it is up to a nation already divided by strong opinion concerning public unrest and profiling to recognize the difference between a peaceful protester and a crazed murderer... to recognize the difference between a concerned citizen and an opportunistic liar... to recognize the difference between an actual cause and a false excuse. Pointing fingers in wrong directions doesn't help this process one iota.

In order to discern, all of us must dismiss prejudice and affiliation to see with clarity. Only then will the utmost sacrifices of Officer Rafael Ramos and Officer Wenjian Liu be honored with proper dignity and remembrance. We owe that to the officers and to their families. We owe that to ourselves and to our families. And, we owe that to a troubled nation.

So, I say Brinsley was nothing but a crazed murderer and an opportunistic liar who employed an unfounded excuse to write his own personal ticket to hell.

A Part of America Died

Somebody killed a policeman today
And a part of America died...
A piece of our country he swore to protect
Will be buried with him at his side.
The beat that he walked was a battlefield, too,
Just as if he had gone off to war;
Though the flag of our nation won't fly at half-mast
To his name they will add a gold star.
The suspect that shot him will stand up in court
With counsel demanding his rights,
While a young, widowed mother must work for her kids
And spend many long, lonely nights.
Yes, somebody killed a policeman today...
Maybe in your town or mine,
While we slept in comfort behind our locked doors A cop put his life on the line.
Now his ghost walks the beat on a dark city street,
And he stands at each new rookie's side:
He answered the call . . . of himself he gave his all,
And a part of America died...

In Memory :
Deputy Nicholas S. Bryant  
Lee County, Sheriffs Dept, Ft. Myers Florida
April 12,
1972 - April 19, 1998.
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