Two Videos emerged on Twitter July 22nd of separate incidents that took place in NYC, where police officers were drenched with water by Harlem and Brooklyn residents. The first video, posted at 1:23 P.M., shows two officers in the middle of what appears to be an arrest following a traffic stop. With one person leaned across the hood of a car, the officers and suspect are drenched with a bucket of water. The bucket is then thrown and ricochets off the arresting officer’s head. The video is labeled “RESTRAINT” by the account that posted both videos, @NYScanner. In the second, posted at 1:32 P.M., in a different part of town, two officers are seen being soaked by multiple buckets of water as they walk away from a group of teenagers, this one is captioned “DISRESPECT: This is what #NYPD Officers are faced with today. Petrified to take action. #BlueLivesMatter @NYCMayor @BilldeBlasio @NYPDnews @NYPD73Pct”
Many vocal advocates of racist and oppressive pro-Police-State tactics, such as “stop and frisk” and the “broken windows” practices, have seized this as an opportunity to claim that Mayor De Blasio has figuratively tied the hands of the NYPD by pushing for change in policy. Among these are Patrick J. Lynch, the president of the NYPD Police Benevolent Association. Lynch called the water bucket 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…Disorder controls the streets, and our elected leaders refuse to allow us to take them back.”
His sentiments were also espoused by NYPD Sergeant Joseph Imperatrice, founder of Blue Lives Matter, “You had officers ultimately walking away with their tail [sic] between their legs because they were bullied.” In the same interview former Westchester County, police sergeant Steve Kardian blamed “progressive” Mayor De Blasio for removing the controversial practices that have been used to terrorize citizens across the country since the “broken windows” theory was popularized by NYPD police commissioner William Bratton in the early 1990s.
Both statements from Sergeant Imperatrice and former Sergeant Kardian disrespect these officers further. Sgt. Imperatrice painted the officers as weak, while Sgt. Kardian implied they were impotent to react rather than choosing to respond wisely. The discourteous actions of the citizens who antagonized the police were disgraceful but the Officers calm solutions were not. The NYPD could be taking the stance that they are proud of the choice these officers made to walk away from a situation that angered them. They chose to de-escalate what could have been made into a dangerous situation for themselves or others. There’s no need to use excessive force when you’ve been disrespected. We should all be looking to leaders such as these men who maintained their composure in the face of foolish contempt. A true officer of the law sets an example in their community as a peacekeeper and these gentlemen certainly upheld that duty. Their honorable show of strength and dignity is something of which they and the NYPD can be proud.