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by Peter Moskos

December 23, 2014

De Blasio and Police (I)

I previously wrote about how liberals generally don't quite understand why some, police included, had problems with his over-paid Jersey-living shacked-up-with-a-cop-hating-felon wife's former chief of staff. De Blasio, like many non-working-class liberals, is pretty clueless about policing and police officers. Leonard Levitt said it on politico:
His words and his deeds don’t match... You had Noerdlinger’s son calling cops ‘pigs’ and de Blasio doesn’t think that’s inappropriate? What message are you sending? De Blasio says it’s just the union guys who are angry. It’s not. It’s everybody. I’ve been covering this for 25 years and I have never seen anything like it. … The mayor doesn’t have a clue.
From Levitt's column:
Let’s recall what de Blasio has done.

--He embraced the Rev. Al Sharpton, one of the most polarizing figures in the city, whom the mayor has called “the most important civil rights leader in the country.”

--He refused to criticize Sharpton’s former spokeswoman Rachel Noerdlinger while serving as his wife’s $170,000-a-year chief of staff, despite her boyfriend’s and son’s social-media rants calling cops “pigs.”

--He greenlighted a $40 million settlement to five black men, who, although wrongly convicted of raping the Central Park jogger in 1989, were nonetheless beating up others in the park the night of her rape and perhaps beat her as well.

--He boasted of telling his son, Dante, that as a biracial teenager he must be wary in encounters with police.
There's also running for election being against quota-based stop, question, and frisk. Of course lost in the de Blasio hatred is the fact that de Blasio was right about stop and frisks. Quota-based stop, question, and frisk was wrong. And cops knew this. And cops didn't like being pressured to produce 250s! But because de Blasio spoke out against them as a liberal, he was perceived as anti-cop (it's a bit more complicated than than, of course). Cops also thought that, even wished that, crime would increase. No matter, now we have fewer stops and less crime. Win-win!

I don't think de Blasio hates cops. He wants better policing, like all of us. He comes from a liberal world and doesn't understand working class culture. He does understand African-American culture (which is also less anti-police than most police believe). He embraces liberal social and racial justice causes (which are also less anti-police than most police believe). But ultimately it's de Blasio's embrace of Sharpton, the boogey man of policing, that means he will never be forgiven, much less liked, by the majority of police officers.


Anonymous said...

Cops are tribal, xenophopic, conservative (ass***** by and large). De Blasio wants accountability. De Blasio wants respect for minorities. De Blasio wants to govern the city democratically (and is thus opposed to the fascist police union). 90% of the criticism of De Blasio is just cops being jerks.

P.S. if cops have a choice between better policing, more accountability, and less crime on one side vs. less work, higher pay, and unlimited job security (no accountability) then you know which side they come down on.

Anonymous said...

Respectfully, you're not talking about working class people or working class culture here. You're talking about white working class people and white working class culture.

Moskos said...

You're absolutely right about me talking about the white. I should have been more clear. It is this white working class culture that has traditionally dominated police culture.

One example of this is how black police officers almost always have their own union-like organization. This is mostly because they don't feel represented by the very white working class culture of their local FOP or PBA organization.

Anonymous said...

Is working class white culture more racist than middle class or upper middle class white culture?

Moskos said...

Hard to say because it's hard to define racism. But if I had to pick one or the other, I'd say that working class white culture is, in many ways, *less* racist than upper-middle-class white culture.

Upper-middle-class whites are more PC and better at using the right words and hiding and denying their racism.

I know it's a cliche to say, "some of my best friends are black." But when are lot of your friend *are* black. That means something. Working-class culture is just more integrated.

And the more you deal with a group of people -- the more black people you know and work with -- the more you are able see nuance and class within the black (or any) community.

I found most cops very willing to judge people of the content of their character rather than the color of their skin.

Cops I know, both white and black, hated the ghetto. Is it racist for a white cop to hate the ghetto, ghetto culture, and people who "act ghetto"? Some would say so. But I don't think so.

And how many of the folks calling cops racist live in all white areas and send their children to all white (and Asian) schools? They have no idea what quality-of-life issues working class people of all races have to deal with on a daily basis.

Adam Plantinga said...

I'm far from an insider on NY politics, but it seems De Blasio lost the NYPD's support for good when there was a violent attack on two NYPD cops on the Brooklyn Bridge that was caught on tape and De Blasio called it an alleged assault. Bad move, mayor.

Moskos said...

Oh man, that made me cringe when I heard him say that. The man charged is the *alleged person*. But there was no doubt that an assault occurred. Very bad move, mayor.

I like to think what he meant to say was, "the assault on the police officers, allegedly committed by Eric Linsker." But he didn't say that.

Still, the mayor lost the cops long before then, even before the election. He supported a law that was widely perceived (probably correctly) as being anti-cop.

And two words: Al Sharpton.

bacchys said...

Since when does video prove anything?