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Scary NYPD


I got my feet wet as an attorney in NYC by defending cops in police brutality cases, 42 USC Section 1983. My memories 10 years later? The police are a wild bunch, when let loose. Not my word, only what the local and national papers detailed about cases where plungers were used to satisfy the officers’ homophobic tendencies, or guns were used to shoot at African-looking men trying to identify themselves. Personally, I heard stories recounting unwelcome sexual encounters with female officers explained to me as innocent “goings downtown” as a wink to Petula Clark’s Downtown.

Now, I hear that while it may be hard to get a cop when you want one, they may find you if you’re on a plane. And take you down. Or that is what I learned through the conversation between CBS’s Scott Pelley and NYPD’s finest, Ray Kelly.

 Pelley: Do you mean to say that the NYPD has the means to take down an aircraft?
Kelly: Yes, I prefer not to get into the details but obviously this would be in a very extreme situation.
Pelley: You have the equipment and the training.
Kelly: Yes.

Kelley’s belief that his NYPD has the training is my problem. The training to shoot? I bet they have it. But is that all? Who gives them the authority? The NYC mayor? We seem to like either prosecutors tamed only by their prostate problems or disillusioned baronets, for whom mere wealth is not enough fun. I fear both. Could we give that equipment and training to the Kansas police? I would feel much safer. Few fly over Kansas.

But New York? What would our foreign tourists say about this? Don’t they have a say? They are the only ones buying stuff in our stores. Could we have a referendum of all residents permanent and temporary before we let our NYPD run amok with so much power?




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