[embedyt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnS53fNfpkE[/embedyt]Marquel, TPVs NYTimes Chokehold Section correspondent, was learning some new judo moves, when he read Mayor de Blasio Announces Retraining of New York Police. Mayor Bill de Blasio said the Eric Garner case had focused the public’s attention on the relationship between the police and the public, but did not immediately explain what the training would entail. Because the police union contacted Marquel about some changes, Marquel had a pretty good understanding of what changes were in store. Marquel just didn’t know where to start. He went down to the union office to speak to the police captain who presently heads the union.
“Captain, what changes are the most important among those the mayor is considering?” I asked.
“Certainly the Cover Me Elmo blanket is among the most important.” He said.
“Could you explain what a Cover Me Elmo blanket is? Frankly I’ve never heard of it.” I queried.
“It’s a real blanket, oversized, with fun pictures of Elmo on it. The idea is to throw it over a suspect so he feels comfortable, not threatened, in his blanky and sees Elmo all around. He doesn’t see cops, isn’t scared, and basically has a fun time.” He said.
I thought about that and saw some problems. “Wouldn’t this act as a shield from cameras?” I asked.
“But wrapped up like that, there’s nothing to film.” He asserted.
“What if the officers beating him could do just what they did to Mr Garner but under cover of the blanket?” I asked.
“I think that assumes the conclusion as the premise. There’s no need to presume police misconduct. Goodness me.”
“Okay, fair enough, but your logic is reversed there. What about other changes?” I asked.
“We have the Elmo camping tent. It’s a small tent that pops up out of four small aluminum stakes that weigh nothing so can be carried by all patrolmen.” He said.
“What does it do?” I asked.
“Again, it’s for the protection of suspects and citizens generally. With the wonderful gay Elmo pictures all around, the suspect is immediately surrounded by happiness, not aggression or hostility. He also has privacy. Upon arrest he’s immediately placed in the blanket, the tent, or both.”
“Are you sure this is to protect the suspect? It seems like an ideal screen for cameras, and an impenetrable means of beating a suspect like Mr Garner.” I asked.
“I can see you’re skeptical. But this is designed to avoid everything that happened with Garner.” He said.
“Like the investigation?” I asked.
“That, too, I suppose,” he said.
“Sure there will be nothing to investigate.” I noted.
“Because of no police misconduct and happy suspects.” He said.
“Dream on. What are you doing to connect with the public besides cleaning up your language.” I said, referring to the mayor’s new policy to stop police from using profanity.
“My understanding is that language campaign had been reduced to a requirement to say please, thank you, and you’re welcome, when saying anything else. So, for instance, stop right there motherfucker is worth demerits. But please stop there motherfucker complies with the rules. To further ingratiate us with the community we are being encouraged to protest ourselves. So if the people protest, we’ll be right with them. That’s designed to keep us informed about the public mood.” He assured me.
“It sounds like a violation of a federal consent decree from a few years back. It also sounds like a way of provoking violence in order to marginalize protests.” I said. “What are you doing to make sure innocent civilians aren’t murdered?”
“I’m glad you asked. We are getting rid of all our automatic sidearms. Instead, we will be equipped with military assault carbines mounted with infrared sights. There’s no chance of hitting a bystander or innocent civilian. It will also have face recognition software so that you can see all about your target before you’re shooting.” He said.
“Like for instance would it say if the target is black or white?” I asked.
“Well sure, but it will also tell you if he’s paid his taxes, his family, and his gender preference.” He said.
“So let me get this straight. This new weaponry, designed to protect the public, would allow you shoot at Amadou Diallo 41 times, like you did, but actually hit him 41 times?” I asked.
He shook his finger at me, “remember, and avoid hitting any innocent people!”
“Captain, Diallo was innocent. And unarmed. With these guns you could go out and find black people and shoot them dead. Our you could go gay bashing without fear of missing.” I said.
“Wow Marquel, you really are prejudiced against the police. ” He said.
“Not without a lot of police help,” I pointed out. “Any other changes designed to help the public?” I asked.
He scratched his head. “That’s the biggest changes, each one designed specifically to protect innocent people and bring the public and police closer together.”
I added, “I’ll bet Mr Garner would have wanted to be not so close together with you when you choked him to death.”
BY MARQUEL: Public Protector No. 1