The head of the New York Police Department’s Lieutenants Benevolent Association wrote on Tuesday that he is “disgusted” at the recent firing of Daniel Pantaleo, the officer who put Eric Garner in a banned chokehold in 2014, according to an email shown to Splinter.
Video showed that as he died, Garner, an unarmed African-American, shouted “I can’t breathe” 11 times. The harrowing public display of targeted police brutality catalyzed protests across the country.
Louis Turco, the NYPD LBA’s president, began his rant by blaming “Hollywood” which is regular and not an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory. He wrote that “the permeating anti-police, anti-law enforcement, environment has become invasive, reprehensibly acceptable and culturally chic; especially amongst the self-absorbed and self-promoting Hollywood elite. Our politicians have disingenuously adopted this attitude to be elected into office.”
He then blamed “political pundits striving to bolster ratings, and misinformed and civil disobedience threatening mobs.” You have to ask: exactly what part of civil makes you feel threatened, my good sir?
Officers allegedly approached Garner because they thought that he could be selling loose cigarettes. Turco argued that police protect the public, which is the opposite of what happened to Garner: “Actual police work is not like television,” he wrote, “In its simplest form, policing sometimes involves the employment of negative reinforcement... to prevent or stop people from committing acts that are anti-social or negatively impacting on the orderly operation of society as a whole.”
“Physical confrontations are dynamic, fluid and completely unpredictable,” he argued, “Our officers are given the tools and the legal authority to employ force to overcome the threat against themselves or others. Our officers do not have the luxury of losing a physical confrontation.”
Turco then implied that the blame should be on on Garner, who can be seen in video waving his hands in the air:
In most cases the offender, not the police, initiate and escalate a confrontation by physically resisting a lawful arrest. This leaves the police no option but to employ countermeasures to overcome the resistance. These measures obviously include the officer(s) employing verbal commands, physical force, less than lethal force, or lethal force to overcome the resistance being employed against them and to end the threat to them and other members of society. This is the continuum of force legally acknowledged and taught to police officers to be employed to overcome physical threats or resistance being used against them. A simple measure that would drastically reduce the sometimes tragic outcomes resulting from criminals resisting arrest by police officers is to simply NOT RESIST ARREST.
He then dismissed the idea that police are racist: “A criminal is a criminal, we know better than most that criminals come in all colors, shapes and sizes,” he wrote. Wildly reassuring.
Driving home his point that police can do no wrong, he wrote that “the time of laying idly by and having the men and women of the New York City Police Department, and law enforcement nationwide, be maligned and depicted as the reason for so many of the nation’s current problems must come to an end. It is disgusting, nauseating, completely fabricated and untrue. This a noble and altruistic profession.”
Thank you to the NYPD for protecting the residents of New York from bad guys such as a regular person minding his business. The kind of stuff that makes you sleep well at night.