After reading about the gruesome murders of two New York City police officers, I was reminded of my early years as a cop.
… After graduating from the four-month Police Academy course, I was assigned to the 79th Precinct in the middle of the predominantly African-American section known as Bedford/Stuyvesant. Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were murdered on the same street where I walked that first midnight-to-8 am tour of duty….
It soon became evident that life was cheap on the streets of that hellhole, where cops from mostly middle-class families would get culture-shocked by a segment of the population that viewed them as an abhorrent occupying force rather than benevolent guardians of their safety. Sadly, a half-century later, that seems to still be the prevailing view.
During the violent decades of the sixties and seventies, we had our version of today’s race-hustlers. There was Malcolm X, H. Rap Brown, Stokely Carmichael, Eldridge Cleaver, and a cadre of other radical blacks who waged war on blue uniforms.