The Dehumanization of New York’s Finest: Rhetoric Has Consequences

By Patrick J. Brosnan

The cowardly slaughter of two uniformed NYPD officers while they ate their lunch in a radio car is unspeakable beyond words and will shift the world of law enforcement in America on its axis. It struck a direct blow in the heart of civility, of society, and although New York’s Finest will always protect and serve with the highest degree of professionalism, they will now be more wary, more fearful, of being the victims of sudden violence for no reason other than the color of their uniform.

The savagery of their murders has been clarifying. It has cast a powerful light on the treacherous intersection of politics and law enforcement in New York.  An intersection where agenda-driven ideologies, shameless posturing and manufactured “racist ” propaganda collides with the everyday world of blue collar law enforcement – a world of honor, of valor, of unwavering commitment to the public.

A world where public service is color blind and where, despite extraordinary provocation, the police did not take the bait even when, in several instances, they were assaulted. The race baiting hate mongers sold a narrative that was patently false, a narrative that was incontrovertibly disproven by forensic evidence and the sworn testimony of credible eyewitnesses, but they would not be appeased, they would not let fact interfere with their fiction so they dismissed irrefutable evidence that justified both the Garner and Brown cases and, instead, they plunged ahead hurling vicious lies and incendiary racial rhetoric. But, like yelling “fire” in a crowded theater, rhetoric can have consequences. In this case, the consequences were deadly.

Mayor DeBlasio added more fuel to the fire with his reckless and incendiary comments. He questioned the safety of his son Dante in a city with a history of “centuries of racism.” Incredibly, and sadly, he implied that the city was patrolled by a racist and predatory police department. He allowed public protestors to take over a public bridge potentially endangering thousands of New Yorkers. His actions and statements emboldened the racial hate mongers and resulted in several assaults on police officers. Mayor Deblasio empowered the anti-police brigade while simultaneously dehumanizing the members of the NYPD. The cost to his political career is unclear at this juncture but will no doubt be significant. Perhaps, ironically, fatal like the shootings.

The rabid bloodlust of this brigade, empowered by reckless and false statements from senior government leaders, propelled a dangerous mantra, a mantra that all police officers are murdering racist thugs and, to the horror of law enforcement, they clamored for “more dead cops.” Images of a frenzied crowd chanting “what do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? Now!” is forever seared into the collective minds of Americans. It is a surreal and profoundly disturbing image; a snapshot that embodies the power of rhetoric. The fact that this clarion call for the wholesale slaughter of Police Officers was not in a war-ravaged third world city but, instead, under the harsh lights of Times Square and in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge is chilling to the bone. Equally as chilling, however, is that it worked.

The dehumanization of New York’s Finest had begun. Like all processes, it began slowly, but once the erosion began it was unstoppable – reaffirmed night after night through fiery rhetoric. And when the metaphorical dust settled, a dramatically transformed public image of the NYPD Officer remained standing: in place of the proud and noble keeper of the peace, resolute and fair, stood a racist brute, a sneering murderer, conjured from the darkest stereotypes of the deep south in the 1950’s.

Once this transformation began and the tipping point breached, Police Officers were no longer human beings- fathers , sons, coaches , teachers – but were dehumanized and, to many, were now racist brutes.

Any New Yorker who believes that the murders of two uniformed police officers, only weeks after the Brown and Garner decisions, is not a direct result of anti-police hatred and emboldenment by City Hall is seriously delusional.   The dehumanization of New York’s Finest, the directives from the Office of the Mayor to overlook certain crimes and the resulting perception, to the anti-police brigade, that the police have been declawed created a perfect storm, a perfect opportunity, for a coward like Ismaaiyl Brinsley to murder two uniformed police officers in broad daylight.

Patrick J. Brosnan is the CEO and Founder of Brosnan Risk Consultants and a Fox News crime analyst. He is a decorated former NYPD Robbery/Gun Squad Detective who was named New York State Police Officer of the Year in 1990 for his efforts in taking guns off the street.

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