“Yooo they violated them!! They viiiiolated themmm!!!!” So went the commentary of a woman heard on a now-viral cellphone video showing two male police officers in Brooklyn being doused with buckets of water last Saturday, after approaching a group on the street. Even after the officers had turned and walked away, perpetrators kept dumping water on them, while onlookers pointed and laughed. Another video that made the rounds on Saturday shows two NYPD officers being drenched, taunted, and, at one point, assaulted by a crowd consisting of mostly young black men. The officers seemed to be holding a handcuffed suspect on the hood of a black sedan.
Many were dismayed by how the officers were treated, including Police Benevolent Association president Pat Lynch, who called the incidents “the end result of the torrent of bad policies and anti-police rhetoric that has been streaming out of City Hall and Albany for years now.” The videos, however, are just two of many recent examples (in New York and around the country) that reveal a glaring incongruity between anti-police rhetoric—which insists that minority communities are terrified of cops—and the reality of what goes on in many inner-city neighborhoods.
Yesterday, the PBA posted a video to Facebook of a young black man launching a vulgar tirade at a uniformed police officer, even challenging him to a fight, as onlookers giggled:
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