While I don’t really like posting about ‘the job’ here, I just watched something that’s left me seething. ‘NYPD: Biggest Gang in New York” can be viewed here. I saw it online before it aired on the ABC’s Four Corners program tonight, where I watched it again just to make sure I wasn’t overreacting. For the record, I’m not — but maybe that’s just me showing my age.
Expecting more from a BBC production (a balanced and impartial Louis Theroux-style documentary, perhaps) it was instead the most biased and intellectually-dishonest hate-piece on ‘police brutality’ I’ve ever watched. It asks you to accept without question the misguided and legally-illiterate perspective of bile-spitting, self-appointed ‘Copwatchers’ who blunder around New York chasing after the police, interfering in arrests, obstructing investigations, and generally conducting themselves like animals. You just KNOW that these people have a personal grievance with the law, and that this is pure payback. It was with great satisfaction that I heard one of the Copwatchers, a criminal, was sentenced to 4 years’ gaol after the show.
Other than the visceral repugnance it aroused in me personally, I objected to the producer/director Ben Steele’s staggering lack of objectivity. He makes no effort to present the other side of the argument at all. And yet, despite his unchallenged representation of the NYPD as a bunch of racist quota-driven thugs, the uniformed officers captured in this clumsy assassination attempt were, without exception, professional men and women who remained absolutely courteous in the face of shouted taunts, provocation and goading. They should have been commended, instead they were condemned.
I am 100% sure that none of the officers would have denied, had they been given a voice, that on rare occasions their fellow officers go tragically too far and innocent people die. It would have been ridiculously simple to do the arithmetic to set everything into perspective, but was this done? Shit no. Even from the other side of the world it takes mere seconds to learn that, in 2015 for example, while 991 were people shot dead by police across the United States, only 19 of them were killed in NYC. Would it derail the ‘Copwatchers’ nasty little political agenda to acknowledge that instead of the shooting victims being young, black and misunderstood, they were in fact mostly middle-aged white guys? Or that nationally in 2015 white police officers shot dead unarmed black men in only 4% of cases. But we don’t hear that, instead we get: “What do we want? Police brutality! When do we want it? Now! What will we do if we don’t get it? Make it up!”
Lesson for professional civilian agitators: never let the facts put a nick in the axe you’re grinding.
I wonder if anybody has conducted an analysis of the 36 police officers who were shot and killed while on duty last year? What if such analysis were to reveal certain commonalities among the murderers as to gender, age or race? Is there a documentary maker on the planet brave enough to point a fat, accusing finger at an entire group of people and blame them all? Oh, hang on, that sound like bigotry to me, doesn’t it? Unless you happen to be a white male police officer, that is, in which case you are fair game. But let’s not dwell on the screaming hypocrisy. The fact is, police shootings are at a forty-year low, yet the hysterical misrepresentation of ‘police brutality’ everywhere, not just in NYC, is at an all-time high. 36 US police officers shot dead while serving their communities — add another four to that for the officers that committed suicide with their service revolvers.