Tags: blasio | new york | mayor | garner

New York's de Blasio Has Lost City's Trust

By Tuesday, 23 December 2014 11:12 AM Current | Bio | Archive

As one who has lost people close to me in acts of terror, I find police union head Pat Lynch’s assertion that New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has blood on his hands, to be a ill-conceived at best, and dangerous at worst.

Having blood on one’s hands, suggests having taken direct action and bearing direct guilt for the resulting crimes, and clearly, that is not the case here. Furthermore, the charge of “blood on their hands” has been used since the time of the Bible to inspire rage and hatred not only of actual wrong-doers but of others as well.

I presume that Lynch’s comment was not simply political posturing, but was born of the genuine pain and rage he felt following the murder of two of his members, and that it should be judged in that context. That said, that phrase should neither be used again nor defended by others.

None of this however, means that the mayor is fully off the hook in this matter. We should simply step back and make sure that those of us criticizing him are not actually guilty of the sin which he actually committed.

While Mr. de Blasio does not bear guilt for the murders of Ramos and Liu, he does bear a measure of responsibility for what lead up to them. The mayor’s previous comments regarding his concern about what might happen to his biracial son were he to have any sort of encounter with city police officers, not to mention his generalized statements regarding race and the NYPD as a whole, in the wake of Eric Garner’s tragic death, place real responsibility squarely on the mayor’s shoulders, if not blood on his hands.

However well-intentioned many of the mayor’s earlier comments may have been — and I assume that they were, just as I assume that for Mr. Lynch — they contributed to a culture of mistrust and anger, not simply at a tiny minority of bad actors, but at the entire class of people who risk their lives on a daily basis to protect us all.

The mayor is the city’s chief executive. He sets the tone, or at least shapes it with his every decision. With that kind of power and influence, comes real responsibility, and it’s time for Mayor de Blasio to accept that. Asking others to step back from politics and focus on mourning the loss of the two murdered cops is a start, but it’s not enough.

Tens of thousands of New Yorkers protested the death of Mr. Garner, and often against what they labeled a “racist NYPD.” Let’s see if the same mayor who correctly, in my opinion, protected the free speech of those who took to the streets then, will he now take to the streets himself and lead equally large protests against violence committed against New York City police officers?

Mayor de Blasio jumped into the fray on policing and race when a civilian was on the line. Now two cops lay murdered. Will he do the same for them? That’s the bare minimum of assuming the responsibility which is his to bear.

Brad Hirschfield is a rabbi, an author, and a commentator on religion, ethics, politics and pop culture. He also is Newsmax TV regular. He serves as president of the think tank, Clal, and is co-founder and executive editor of TheWisdomDaily.com. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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Mayor de Blasio jumped into the fray on policing and race when a civilian was on the line. Now two cops lay murdered. Will he do the same for them?
blasio, new york, mayor, garner
Tuesday, 23 December 2014 11:12 AM
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