Bill de Blasio throws his cops under the bus

Bill de Blasio throws his cops under the bus

It is impossible not to be heartbroken and horrified by the video of Eric Garner’s death. Yes, he was a chronic lawbreaker. Yes, he was resisting arrest, a profound violation of the rule of law. But that resistance was more exasperated than vicious (though, to be sure, such low-level resistance can unpredictably escalate into more dangerous behavior).

Still, no one deserves to die for such petty law-breaking — as the officers who tried to arrest Garner would undoubtedly agree.

But Mayor de Blasio has made a tragic situation worse by racializing Garner’s death. His public rhetoric following the grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo for that death has painted a demagogically false picture of the New York Police Department, one that will make his stated goal of improving police-community relations harder to achieve.

The ultimate result — albeit one not yet evidenced in still-dropping numbers — could be a reversal of New York’s stupendous crime decline.

 

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