Unfortunately, things have not improved over the last few days across the country and in fact, in many ways, they have gotten much worse. These riots are causing injury and death to innocent civilians and police officers alike, at the hands of rioters. The destruction of property, once they are actually finished, will be so severe and costly, that it will take years to rebuild in some communities, if they even rebuild at all. The victims of these crimes are of all races, so the narratives for these acts have lost all credibility. “No justice, no peace” as a mantra is totally meaningless when justice is being served with the arrest of the responsible parties, yet, peace is nowhere in sight. In fact, many of the areas that are suffering the most, had strong community relations with their local police prior to this, which makes this even more disturbing.
The vast majority of the media, and many politicians, have turned the wrongful death of a man into an all-out war against the police. The tide is swelling to defund police and disarm departments of equipment to do the job. In fact, many municipalities, including NYC, have prohibited the use of these proven methods of quelling riots. The NYPD has no support from Mayor DeBlasio or Governor Cuomo to actually solve the problem. Instead, these miscreant politicians project their personal failures as “leaders” onto the police department, who are being limited, understaffed and undermined by them. These type of anti-police actions by politicians are directly affecting us as well. The New York State Senate and Assembly, led mostly by the New York City legislators, has demanded a total repeal of 50A of the Civil Rights Law. These protections have been in place for over 40 years and were originally put there to protect officers “personnel records used to evaluate performance towards continued employment or promotion”, from being used by unscrupulous lawyers to harass and discredit officers with information that has nothing to do with the case at hand. The records were always “confidential and not subject to inspection or review”, except by court order when warranted. A judge made that determination based on relevancy. Taking away civil rights in the name of civil rights is mind boggling. Our despicable, anti-police, governor will no doubt be signing such a bill when it reaches his desk.
It is unfathomable that the public actually wants to see their police departments decimated and unable to protect them. The time for the silent majority to find their voice is now, before they will not be heard at all. These sweeping changes, pushed by false narratives, will only endanger the law abiding public and empower the criminal element. The list of vocal police supporters is sadly dwindling.
As part of the New York State Association of PBAs (NYSAPBA) and the Police Conference of New York (PCNY), comprising of departments across the state, we have joined with the NYPD PBA in a Memorandum of Opposition to the repeal of 50A of the Civil Rights Law. The memo is below for you to read.
The protests are now occurring on Long Island, albeit on a smaller scale, and even at this very moment as I type this, right down the road in Bellport. I fully expect these events to become more numerous and unfortunately, I fear they will be bringing the violence with them. I hope that I am wrong.
Your personal safety is absolutely paramount. As law enforcement, we always should be aware of not bringing the job home to our families. This is getting harder and harder with technology and public records. There are reports of subjects trying to find addresses of officers across the country to damage property and even worse. Please take all necessary precautions, check your vehicles, and stay vigilant. There are numerous websites that offer services to find anyone, that search public records and sites that offer to remove the very same information. Some may actually be farming your information when you put it in to “opt out”. There are too many to list and no central location to find them. For example, websites such as See Through NY list public employees’ information. In New York State, based upon cases from the Court of Appeals and the Appellate Division, 1st Department, as well as the actual NYS Public Officers Law, home addresses are exempt from disclosure under Freedom of Information Law (FOIL); but, the names of active members and their salary information, and names of retirees who receive benefits from public employees' retirement systems are not exempt.
As the leaders of this department, you continue to make us all proud of how we are facing these very difficult conditions. Needlessly paying for the sins of others who we had no control of, for actions we took no part in, and for which we universally condemn, makes this a very bitter pill to swallow. I applaud your dedication and professionalism despite this, and am very proud to be the President of an organization that has such people of honorable character at the helm of this department. You should wear the patch of the SCPD proudly. I do.
Now more than ever, we need to stand tall and stand together.