“The NYPD continues to be the most important gang in New York Metropolis,” spat rookie Metropolis Councilwoman Kristin Richardson Jordan upon taking workplace Jan. 2.
Nineteen days later got here the murder of NYPD Officer Jason Rivera in Jordan’s Harlem district, and she or he was crooning a barely totally different tune: “A lack of one is a loss to the entire,” she mentioned. “I stand with the households of the fallen.”
An admission of guilt? Or a press release of comfort?
More than likely the latter. For one factor, standing “with the households of the fallen” isn’t the identical as standing with cops prepared to provide their lives in your constituents. For one more, it’s actually, actually arduous to not image a thought bubble over this bitter girl’s head: “One cop down, 35,999 to go.”
Nonetheless, as this newspaper detailed over the weekend, Jordan wasn’t the one typical suspect to be trimming rhetorical sails following Rivera’s homicide. Some have been backtracking so egregiously that possibly one thing apart from vice paying homage to advantage is happening.
Take Public Advocate Jumaane Williams: “Hiring law enforcement officials is sending the mistaken message,” he mentioned proper after Macy’s Herald Sq. was looted in 2020. However post-Friday got here this: “[Rivera died] whereas making an attempt to guard one other New Yorker’s security as numerous officers do on daily basis.”
Or Legal professional Normal Letitia James. Earlier than: “Policing is embedded in racism.” After: “All of New York is in mourning tonight. We pray for the protection of our police.” Even Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, who opposes efficient regulation enforcement as issues of precept and coverage, tweeted “violence in opposition to police can’t be tolerated. We’re actively working to carry the shooter accountable.”
But it surely stays that had the killer not shot anyone, however meekly surrendered his weapon — it was a Glock with a grotesque 40-round prolonged journal — he seemingly would have been again on the road inside hours in accord with Bragg’s no-“carceral”-prosecutions insurance policies.
But the DA clearly was shaken by Friday’s bloodshed, simply as he was rattled by the cruel common response to his soft-on-crime insurance policies — and particularly by the opposition of Manhattan’s enterprise leaders.
Kathy Wylde of the Partnership for New York Metropolis is a municipal treasure, however she’s not one to stir pots in public. Her startlingly uncharacteristic early criticism of Bragg despatched a stern message: The neighborhood that had invested uncounted billions within the metropolis’s post-Giuliani- Bloomberg resurrection needs no a part of the DA’s courageous new world.
This perspective is one thing New York’s antipolice political class will ignore at its peril — for the town appears to be waking up. When a rookie cop, an accomplished career woman and a 19-year-old fast-food cashier are murdered by violent profession criminals on successive weekends, folks concentrate.
And there’s extra to it than that — social media dramatically concentrates consideration, too.
Each neighborhood mugging, “pictures fired” police name, organized shoplifting spree, and street-corner knife battle is detailed on the Citizen app.
Suspicious characters, neighborhood hazard spots, purse-snatchings, vagrant encampments and subway outrages are dissected on Nextdoor.
Properly-populated Fb pages seem in a single day when new risks come up — witness the swift damaging response when Higher West Aspect accommodations have been packed stuffed with vagrants, addicts and the mentally in poor health 18 months in the past. The neighborhood fought Metropolis Corridor — and presently received a battle energized by social media.
The final time New York fell into the abyss, people have been just about on their very own — remoted, conscious of their very own victimizations however missing firsthand consciousness of others’ experiences.
And so it took a very long time — too lengthy — to construct a profitable, reform-driven political coalition.
However this time, possibly not so lengthy? This time — as every successive outrage, and so many private encounters with crime — reverberate throughout social media, possibly essential mass comes sooner? In any case, it’s not mandatory to alter Alvin Bragg’s coronary heart — simply his insurance policies.
Right here’s hoping for a smartphone revolution.