The Observer has learned that Ydanis Rodriguez, the chair of New York City Council Transportation Committee, will join a meeting scheduled for Thursday, April 23rd in a Midtown location at which he will propose a bailout to rescue medallion owners, who have witnessed the value of their investment plummet as Uber and other ride apps disrupt the traditional taxi business. 521 MORE WORDS
Multiple people were shot by a man wearing a doctor’s coat inside a New York City hospital Friday afternoon, sources say, and the shooter is deceased, police said.
The rifle-wielding gunman at Bronx Lebanon Hospital was dressed in a white doctor’s-type coat when he shot at least three people shortly before 3 p.m., sources tell News 4.
The suspect is dead, NYPD spokesman J. Peter Donald said in a tweet around 4 p.m. Multiple senior NYPD officials tells NBC News the suspect is a former employee at Bronx Lebanon.
Police response remains heavy and cautious as authorities make sure he was a lone actor.
A sea of police cars line the street outside Bronx Lebanon Hospital Friday amid reports of shots fired within the hospital.
As members of the NYPD’s most-armed units responded to the then-active shooter situation, a sea of patrol and tactical vehicles gridlocked the streets around the hospital on Grand Concourse, and police surveyed the roof of the building with their guns drawn, Chopper 4 over the scene shows.
A staff member at the hospital tells News 4 it was under lockdown as police helped to bring people out floor by floor. Read the rest of this entry »
Heather Mac Donald writes: Donald Trump’s promise to restore law and order to America’s cities was one of the most powerful themes of his presidential campaign. His capacity to deliver will depend on changing destructive presidential rhetoric about law enforcement and replacing the federal policies that flowed from that rhetoric.
“Mr. Obama’s Justice Department has imposed an unprecedented number of federal consent decrees on police agencies, subjecting those agencies to years of costly federal monitoring, based on a specious methodology for teasing out alleged systemic police bias.”
The rising violence in many urban areas is driven by what candidate Trump called a “false narrative” about policing. This narrative holds that law enforcement is pervaded by racism, and that we are experiencing an epidemic of racially biased police shootings of black men.
Multiple studies have shown that those claims are untrue. If there is a bias in police shootings, it works in favor of blacks and against whites. Yet President Obama has repeatedly accused the police and criminal-justice system of discrimination, lethal and otherwise. During the memorial service for five Dallas police officers gunned down in July by an assassin who reportedly was inspired by Black Lives Matter, Mr. Obama announced that black parents were right to “fear that something terrible may happen when their child walks out the door”—that the child will be fatally shot by a cop.
The consequences of such presidential rhetoric are enormous, especially when amplified by the media. Officers working in high-crime areas now encounter a dangerous level of hatred and violent resistance. Gun murders of officers are up 68% this year compared with the same period last year.
“The department assumes that police activity like stops or arrests will be evenly spread across different racial and ethnic populations unless there is police racism. So if police stops are higher among blacks, say, the police, according to this reasoning, must be motivated by bias.”
Police have cut way back on pedestrian stops and public-order enforcement in minority neighborhoods, having been told repeatedly that such discretionary activities are racially oppressive. The result in 2015 was the largest national homicide increase in nearly 50 years. That shooting spree has continued this year, ruthlessly mowing down children and senior citizens in many cities, along with the usual toll of young black men who are the primary targets of gun crime.
To begin to reverse these trends, President Trump must declare that the executive branch’s ideological war on cops is over. The most fundamental necessity of any society is adherence to the rule of law, he should say. Moreover, there is no government agency today more dedicated to the proposition that black lives matter than the police.
“But this analysis ignores the large racial differences in offending and victimization rates. Policing today is data-driven: Cops go where innocent civilians are most being preyed upon—and that is in minority neighborhoods. Under a Trump administration, police activity should be evaluated against a benchmark of crime, not population ratios.”
The nationwide policing revolution that originated in New York City in 1994—based on proactive enforcement—saved thousands of minority lives over 20 years, and provided urban residents with newfound freedom. While police agencies and their local overseers must remain vigilant against officer abuses, the federal government will no longer deem cops racist for responding to community demands for public order.
Mr. Obama’s Justice Department has imposed an unprecedented number of federal consent decrees on police agencies, subjecting those agencies to years of costly federal monitoring, based on a specious methodology for teasing out alleged systemic police bias. The department assumes that police activity like stops or arrests will be evenly spread across different racial and ethnic populations unless there is police racism. So if police stops are higher among blacks, say, the police, according to this reasoning, must be motivated by bias. Read the rest of this entry »
Baruch College student Yasmin Seweid, we now know, was not herself the victim of a hate crime. She made it all up. But by telling the tale of her attack by men shouting “Trump,” ripping at her hijab, while a trainful of New Yorkers sat silent, she victimized many others.
First on the list: the New York Police Department, which spent precious resources chasing a fabricated assault. Cops tried to track down witnesses — there were none. They reviewed video for clues — there were none.
Next: her fellow New Yorkers, who did not in fact stand idly by while watching a woman be attacked because of her faith. We are not the city of Kitty Genovese; that story of passive witness to horror, so many years ago, was itself a myth. But the image persists that New Yorkers are a can’t-be-bothered-even-if-you’re-in-danger lot. It’s a lie.
The chopper landing was then abruptly canceled after an angry dad started griping to cops about the intrusion, threatening to post pictures of the mayoral interruption on social media, a source said.
The cops “basically told everybody to get off the field,” the dad said.
“The mayor wants to land his helicopter here,” he recalled police telling him.
And when he griped to the officers they sympathized. “They said it’s absolutely ridiculous and that I should file a complaint,” said the dad, who didn’t want his name printed for fear of retribution.
Another angry dad confirmed the story.
De Blasio was slated to deliver remarks at Gracie Mansion at 7 pm that evening and visited an injured firefighter at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx earlier that day. He had nothing else on his public schedule.
Police said he was taking the whirlybird from the Bronx because traffic was backed up, the dad recalled.
“It’s ridiculous,” he fumed. “The guy feels he’s so entitled to do whatever he wants.”
Another dad confirmed that police said it was de Blasio who was supposed to land on the field. Read the rest of this entry »
Determined to Prove Critics’ Predictions Right, De Blasio Oversees Resurgence Of Graffiti & Urine Smell Reminiscent of Scorsese’s 1970s ‘Taxi Driver’ Era New YorkPosted: December 21, 2015
Graffiti was an infamous symbol of the decline and decay of New York City in the 1970s and ’80s, and some now say it appears to be making a comeback.
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Graffiti was an infamous symbol of the decline and decay of New York City in the 1970s and ’80s, and some now say it appears to be making a comeback.
As CBS2’s Scott Rapoport reported Monday, residents have noticed and they want it gone.
Bold graffiti lines parts of walls, ramps and pavement at the Forest Hills Long Island Rail Road station in Queens.
“It’s awful,” one man said.
“Most of the time it’s ignored,” said City Councilmember Karen Koslowitz (D-29th).
Koslowitz said the graffiti has been there since the summer, and she said she has been in touch repeatedly with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to get rid of it. But she said in the ensuing months, things got worse.
“I’ve seen a lot more graffiti then I’ve seen in a long time,” she said.
And it is not an isolated occurrence. Citywide, some say graffiti appears to be more and more prevalent.
According to the NYPD, the number of graffiti complaints citywide in 2015 is up 15 percent from last year. Meanwhile, arrests for graffiti are down 10 percent compared with last year. Read the rest of this entry »
Betsy McCaughey writes: Hillary Clinton chose Minneapolis — with its growing enclave of fundamentalist Muslim refugees — to announce her plan to combat terrorism on Tuesday. That’s like choosing Baskin-Robbins to announce your weight-loss plans.
Clinton offered little more than platitudes like: “We have to do more to address the challenge of radicalization.” Meanwhile, that challenge was right under her nose.
“Clinton saved her scorn for Americans, saying they should be ashamed for demonizing Muslims here. She called for ’empowering Muslim-American communities.’ But which Muslim-Americans is she talking about? Some Muslims are our friends, but others want to kill us. That’s true here — and worldwide.”
The city’s huge Somali refugee population makes it a symbol of the problem, not the solution. Some 30,000 have been placed there by the federal government. Many of them say they would rather live under Islamic religious law — Sharia — than American law, and resist adapting to American ways. Their ideology makes them ripe for jihadization.
“Moderate Muslims here are not a problem. But fundamentalist Muslims pose a high risk. Hillary cheerfully overlooked this distinction.”
Indeed, dozens of young men from this Muslim enclave have left to fight with radical Islamists in Somalia and Syria. “We have a terror recruiting problem in Minnesota,” reports Andy Luger, a federal prosecutor there.
The key to Hillary’s anti-terrorism plan is the empty hope that Muslims in America will self-police. “They are the best positioned to block anything going forward.” Don’t count on it. As the ongoing San Bernardino shooting investigation shows, even Muslims who aren’t stockpiling AK-47s can’t be counted on to report what their family members or acquaintances are doing.
Clinton saved her scorn for Americans, saying they should be ashamed for demonizing Muslims here. She called for “empowering Muslim-American communities.” But which Muslim-Americans is she talking about? Some Muslims are our friends, but others want to kill us. That’s true here — and worldwide.
“A Pew Research report tells us where the danger spots are. A shocking 99 percent of Afghanistan’s Muslims, 91 percent of Iraqi Muslims and 84 percent of Pakistani Muslims identify themselves as fundamentalists who favor Sharia law.”
Clinton took aim at Donald Trump’s proposal to suspend all Muslims from coming to the United States. But Trump’s idea is not as dangerous as Hillary’s insistence that anti-Muslim rhetoric is what incites Muslims to terrorism. That’s delusional.
“Equally jaw-dropping, 39 percent of Afghanistan’s Muslims say they consider violent acts such as suicide bombings always or sometimes justified ‘in defense of Islam.'”
Moderate Muslims here are not a problem. But fundamentalist Muslims pose a high risk. Hillary cheerfully overlooked this distinction. Read the rest of this entry »
“Current information suggests that ISIL (aka Da’esh), al-Qa’ida, Boko Haram, and other terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks in multiple regions. These attacks may employ a wide variety of tactics, using conventional and non-conventional weapons and targeting both official and private interests.”
— Statement from the State Department
“Authorities believe the likelihood of terror attacks will continue as members of ISIL/Da’esh return from Syria and Iraq. Additionally, there is a continuing threat from unaffiliated persons planning attacks inspired by major terrorist organizations but conducted on an individual basis.”
— State Department warning
“…Extremists have targeted large sporting events, theatres, open markets, and aviation services. In the past year, there have been multiple attacks in France, Nigeria, Denmark, Turkey, and Mali. ISIL/Da’esh has claimed responsibility for the bombing of a Russian airliner in Egypt.”
Alyssa Zauderer reports: The department says all U.S. citizens should remain vigilant when in public places or using transportation.
“The man allegedly went back to screaming and waving around his samurai sword…According to eyewitnesses, right before the man was taken into custody by the NYPD officers, he looked as if he was preparing to harm himself with the sword.”
He was then escorted out of the building, with Apple Store employees building a wall between him and the customers as a layer of protection. When he was outside in front of the store, the man allegedly went back to screaming and waving around his samurai sword.
[You can view a video of the suspect waving the sword around inside the Apple Store by heading to ABC NY’s report.]
He was taken into custody by two New York Police Department officers. According to eyewitnesses, right before the man was taken into custody by the NYPD officers, he looked as if he was preparing to harm himself with the sword. The suspect was then taken to a New York City hospital….(read more)
The brawl occurred after cash was handed over to Hello Kitty and she was supposed to split the earnings with Minnie but didn’t, sources said.
Jiovanna Melendez, 40, who was dressed as Hello Kitty, and Sandra Mocha, 34, aka Minnie Mouse, got into a brawl around 3:30 p.m. Thursday, according to police.
New York City Murders Are On The Rise
Rocco Parascandola, Kerry Burke, Larry McShane report: A dramatic drop in stop-and-frisk encounters has emboldened criminals and made cops more reluctant to take proactive police action, even as murders and shootings are on the rise in the city.
“Everyone is afraid to make stops. No one wants to get jammed up. They’re telling us the stops have to be quality stops. But if you make a stop, and you think it’s a good one, and the guy has nothing on him, is that a good stop?”
— Brooklyn police supervisor
The frightening message — echoed by police supervisors and union leaders — comes as stop-and-frisk encounters are on pace to plunge by 42% this year, with 20,000 fewer street stops.
“What you’re seeing now are the perps carrying their guns because they’re not afraid to carry them. We’ve created an atmosphere where we’ve handcuffed the police. We are sitting back, taking a less proactive approach.”
— Ed Mullins, head of the Sergeants Benevolent Association
There were 11,652 stops across the city through June 3 — projecting to roughly 28,000 for the year, records obtained by the Daily News show. As the number of stops fell, the number of murders spiked 19.5% during the first five months of the year, the number of people shot is up 9.2% and the number of shooting incidents jumped 9%.
“Based on this year’s drop…absent any other factor, you have to ask the question: Are the cops now reluctant to engage?”
“What you’re seeing now are the perps carrying their guns because they’re not afraid to carry them,” said Ed Mullins, head of the Sergeants Benevolent Association. “We’ve created an atmosphere where we’ve handcuffed the police. We are sitting back, taking a less proactive approach.”
Mullins said the city’s criminal element has been operating without fear while cops have been somewhat neutered in the last two years — and he wasn’t the only one to raise the issue.
“Based on this year’s drop . . . absent any other factor, you have to ask the question: Are the cops now reluctant to engage?” wondered one high-ranking police source.
Critics of the NYPD told The News there was no correlation between the two sets of numbers — while stop-and-frisk supporters said the lower frisk numbers led to the higher crime figures.
City cops, citing increased scrutiny from the NYPD’s inspector general, the state attorney general and City Hall, say the cutback on stops is about self-preservation. Read the rest of this entry »
The consequences of the ‘Ferguson effect’ are already appearing. The main victims of growing violence will be the inner-city poor
Heather Mac Donald writes: The nation’s two-decades-long crime decline may be over. Gun violence in particular is spiraling upward in cities across America. In Baltimore, the most pressing question every morning is how many people were shot the previous night.
Gun violence is up more than 60% compared with this time last year, according to Baltimore police, with 32 shootings over Memorial Day weekend. May has been the most violent month the city has seen in 15 years.
“President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, before he stepped down last month, embraced the conceit that law enforcement in black communities is infected by bias.”
Murders in Atlanta were up 32% as of mid-May. Shootings in Chicago had increased 24% and homicides 17%. Shootings and other violent felonies in Los Angeles had spiked by 25%; in New York, murder was up nearly 13%, and gun violence 7%.
“Contrary to the claims of the ‘black lives matter’ movement, no government policy in the past quarter century has done more for urban reclamation than proactive policing. Data-driven enforcement, in conjunction with stricter penalties for criminals and ‘broken windows’ policing has saved thousands of black lives, brought lawful commerce and jobs to once drug-infested neighborhoods and allowed millions to go about their daily lives without fear.”
Those citywide statistics from law-enforcement officials mask even more startling neighborhood-level increases. Shooting incidents are up 500% in an East Harlem precinct compared with last year; in a South Central Los Angeles police division, shooting victims are up 100%.
“Murders in Atlanta were up 32% as of mid-May. Shootings in Chicago had increased 24% and homicides 17%. Shootings and other violent felonies in Los Angeles had spiked by 25%; in New York, murder was up nearly 13%, and gun violence 7%.”
By contrast, the first six months of 2014 continued a 20-year pattern of growing public safety. Violent crime in the first half of last year dropped 4.6% nationally and property crime was down 7.5%. Though comparable national figures for the first half of 2015 won’t be available for another year, the January through June 2014 crime decline is unlikely to be repeated.
“Since last summer, the airwaves have been dominated by suggestions that the police are the biggest threat facing young black males today.”
The most plausible explanation of the current surge in lawlessness is the intense agitation against American police departments over the past nine months. Read the rest of this entry »
Associated Press Tries to Shame Cartoon Event Organizer Pamela Geller for Not Expressing Regret for Successful Police Action That Saved Lives and Killed 2 Armed TerroristsPosted: May 7, 2015
PHOTO: Pamela Geller at AP headquarters, where she said she had no regrets over TX cartoon contest that left 2 dead: http://t.co/cELdeaeqGd
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 8, 2015
Brian Moore, 25 years old, died from his injuries after being taken off life support at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center two days after the shooting
Brian Moore, 25 years old, died from his injuries after being taken off life support at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center two days after the shooting in Middle Village neighborhood of Queens, police officials said.
Officer Moore was part of the anti-crime unit in the New York Police Department’s 105th precinct in Queens and was in plain clothes, patrolling in an unmarked police car with his partner when he was shot by a suspect they saw tugging at his waistband, authorities said.
Police Commissioner William Bratton is expected to meet with the officers’ family Monday afternoon.
Demetrius Blackwell, a 35-year-old with a long criminal record accused of shooting Officer Moore, has been charged with attempted murder and is being held without bail. Read the rest of this entry »
“There shouldn’t be calm tonight.”
Hill told CNN host Don Lemon as riots raged in the streets of Baltimore.
“Black people are dying in the streets. We’ve been dying in the streets for months, years, decades, centuries. I think there can be resistance to oppression.”
Van Jones, a former adviser to President Obama, served as a moderate voice to Hill’s extreme position…Hill responded, reiterating his position that rioting serves a purpose.
“I think we should be strategic in how we riot.”
Hill responded, reiterating his position that rioting serves a purpose. He back-pedaled some, adding,
“I’m not saying that we should see the destruction of black communities as positive…”
Uber-Predictable: New York City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez Advocates Taxi Cartel Protection Scheme, Proposes BailoutPosted: April 21, 2015
I Actually Went to Starbucks and Asked About Racial Issues — Here’s What Happened
Nothing was solved.
Katherine Timpf writes: Since Starbucks launched its “Race Together” initiative — encouraging customers to have conversations about racial issues with its employees — there have been a slew of Internet think pieces about what’s right or wrong about it.
Some people said it was an awkward and a dumb idea. Other people said those people were racists. So — I decided to go out and see for myself what it would be like if I actually did what Starbucks was telling its customers to do. Read the rest of this entry »
Grand Jury Indicts Tairod Nathan Webster Pugh: Air Force Vet Charged in Plot to Aid Islamic State GroupPosted: March 17, 2015
He will appear Wednesday in federal court in New York City and is now in custody….(read more)
For NBC News, Michael Kosnar and Daniel Arkin report: A former U.S. Air Force mechanic has been charged with attempting to go to Syria to join ISIS, authorities said Tuesday. Tairod Nathan Webster Pugh was indicted Monday by a grand jury in Brooklyn on two charges, including attempting to provide material support to a terror organization.
The indictment said that Pugh was fired from a job in Kuwait as an airplane mechanic in December 2014. It said that he flew from Egypt to Turkey on January 10, in an effort to cross the border into Syria to join ISIS and wage violent jihad.
Turkish authorities denied him entry into the country, however, and sent him on a return flight to Egypt. He was deported from Egypt to the U.S. in January 15, after he was found carrying suspicious items, including a photograph of a machine gun.
Pugh was arrested Jan. 16, but the case has been sealed since that date.
Searches of his laptop revealed online queries about borders and crossing points controlled by the Islamic State, and videos showing ISIS executions. Posting on social media show Pugh repeatedly professed a desire never to return to the U.S., even though he has family — including children — in the country….(read more)
This is a breaking news story. Please refresh for updates.
— Michael Kosnar and Daniel Arkin
And why didn’t Sharpton comply with tax and campaign filing requirements?
Jillian Kay Melchior writes: As Al Sharpton ran for mayor of New York City in 1997 and for president in 2003, fires at his offices reportedly destroyed critical financial records, and he subsequently failed to comply with tax and campaign filing requirements.
The first fire began in the early hours of April 10, 1997, in a hair-and-nail salon one floor below Sharpton’s campaign headquarters at 70 West 125th Street. From the start, investigators deemed the fire “suspicious” because of “a heavy volume of fire on arrival” and because many of the doors remained unlocked after hours, according to the New York Fire Department’s fire-and-incident report.
“The 1997 fire occurred five days before Tax Day and, the New York Post reported, ‘just after Sharpton announced that he would open his financial records.’ After the fire, Sharpton said he would seek an extension because crucial financial records had been destroyed.”
As the fire crept upward into Sharpton’s headquarters, it destroyed nearly everything, including computers, files, and campaign records, the Reverend’s spokesperson at the time told Newsday, adding that “we have lost our entire Manhattan operation.” But a source knowledgeable about the investigation tells National Review Online that Sharpton’s office was mostly empty, and that the damage was not extensive.
Top city officials, including then-mayor Rudy Giuliani, said initial suspicions centered on the hair-and-nail salon, not on Sharpton’s campaign, Newsday reported. The fire department sent the case as an arson/explosion investigation to the New York Police Department. By the time of publication of this report, the NYPD had not provided the records requested by National Review Online on December 16, 2014, but it confirmed that the investigation had been closed without an arrest.
FDNY’s report references a “flammable liquid,” and firefighters’ photos of the scene show traces of an incendiary puddle. Another photo captures what appears to be a singed rag that someone is holding next to a fuse box, perhaps because that is where it was found. But a 2003 Newsday article says “the 1997 fire started when a curling iron overheated in an adjoining beauty parlor.” NRO could find no other sources referencing a curling iron as the cause, and the fire department’s reports make no mention of it, either.
As the mayoral campaign continued, Sharpton missed tax and campaign disclosure deadlines.
The 1997 fire occurred five days before Tax Day and, the New York Post reported, “just after Sharpton announced that he would open his financial records.” After the fire, Sharpton said he would seek an extension because crucial financial records had been destroyed. It’s unclear whether that extension was granted.
“During the campaign, Sharpton criticized his opponents for having a ‘penthouse mentality,’ calling one a ‘limousine liberal.’ But while his competitors had voluntarily released their income-tax returns to the media, Sharpton had not even filed his yet, much less publicly disclosed them.”
In July 1997, Sharpton also missed the deadline to file his personal financial-disclosure forms with the New York City Conflict of Interests Board, violating a legal requirement and risking a fine of up to $10,000. He said the destruction of records in the fire had prevented him from filing. When Sharpton finally filed a year later, in July 1998 — months after the November 4, 1997 elections — he paid a $100 late fee. It’s unclear what information his filing did or did not contain; in accordance with Section 12-110(f) of the administrative code, the board shredded Sharpton’s financial-disclosure forms more than a decade ago.
During the campaign, Sharpton criticized his opponents for having a “penthouse mentality,” calling one a “limousine liberal.” But while his competitors had voluntarily released their income-tax returns to the media, Sharpton had not even filed his yet, much less publicly disclosed them, Newsday noted. Read the rest of this entry »
New York Post front page for Monday, January 12, 2015
Moderate Muslims are most in need of a robust defense of free speech, especially if it offends
L. Gordon Crovitz writes: ‘I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,” wrote biographer Evelyn Beatrice Hall, summing up the view of her subject, Voltaire. The 17th-century French writer has been on many minds since last week’s Islamist atrocity in Paris. “As the news of the massacre sank in,” wrote historian Robert Darnton for the New York Review of Books, “I kept thinking of Voltaire and calling up his famous grin—lips curled and lower jaw stuck out, as if to defy anyone who might dare to pull a punch.”
“Moderate Muslims around the world most need a robust defense of free speech, especially if it offends. In the spirit of Voltaire, they’re taking great risks to challenge extremism.”
Many of us don’t share the sensibilities of Charlie Hebdo’s leftist politics and sometimes juvenile humor, but the terrorists who massacred its staff attacked a core component of French identity. “Free thought begetting light-hearted satire . . . is at the root of French character,” observed a 19th-century British history of French literature. French-style caustic satire is less common in the Anglosphere, but the Enlightenment in all forms enrages Islamists.
“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”
In the 18th century, Voltaire was exiled and jailed and had his books burned. He sought ecrasez l’infame—to crush the infamous—by which he meant most forms of authority. He called Christianity “assuredly the most ridiculous, the most absurd and the most bloody religion which has ever infected this world.” He criticized Judaism and Islam. “Superstition sets the whole world in flames,” he observed. “Philosophy quenches them.”
“The many ‘Je suis Charlie’ signs and social-media hashtags show that popular support for free speech is ahead of politically correct university administrators and politicians. Brandeis University last year shamefully canceled an honorary degree for van Gogh’s Muslim associate on the film, Ayaan Hirsi Ali.”
Charlie Hebdo inherited that tradition. The Catholic Church has sued it more than a dozen times. Its murdered editor, Stephane Charbonnier, had said he hoped to carry on “until Islam is just as banal as Catholicism.” One cover featured a fundamentalist Muslim, an Orthodox Jew and the pope shouting in unison: “Charlie Hebdo must be veiled!”
Islamists can’t abide free speech. They issued a death sentence for Salman Rushdie for writing a novel, forced a Danish cartoonist into hiding, and murdered Theo van Gogh in Amsterdam for making a film. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s not clear what led to the shooting on East 184th Street and Tiebout Avenue in the Fordham section shortly after 10:30 p.m.
The officers were taken to St. Barnabas Hospital and are expected to be OK, the NYPD said.
A law enforcement source said it appears one officer was shot in the back and the other shot in the arm. Preliminary investigation indicates the anti-crime, plain clothes officers were responding to a burglary call, a police source said.
The suspect fled in a car, crashed it and abandoned it a couple of blocks away from the scene before fleeing on foot, according to preliminary investigation, said the police source. Read the rest of this entry »
The New York Post reports that some in the crowd shouted “traitor” at de Blasio.
Andrew Johnson writes: The rift between New York Police Department and Bill de Blasio continued on Monday as the mayor faced a series of boos and heckles as he took the stage at a graduation ceremony for new officers at Madison Square Garden. The recent episode is the latest in the feud between de Blasio and the NYPD, in which officers have turned their back to the mayor at a number of public appearances. Read the rest of this entry »
Politicians benefit from American Tribal Warfare
Glen Reynolds writes: “What if I told you,” asks a Matrix-themed photo-meme that has been circulating on Facebook, “that you can be against cops murdering citizens and citizens murdering cops at the same time?”
“Tribalism is the default state of humanity: The tendency to defend our own tribe even when we think it’s wrong, and to attack other tribes even when they’re right, just because they’re other.”
Judging by the past few weeks, this really is a Matrix-level revelation, obvious as it may seem. We have Americans protesting because of police shootings, and we have police turning their backs on New York City’s Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio over lack of support after two police were assassinated by Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley, a gunman from Baltimore who said he was seeking revenge for the choking death of cigarette-tax evader Eric Garner.
“In a healthy civil society, people can deal with others without worrying about tribalism, confident that disputes will be settled by neutral and reasonably fair procedures overseen by neutral and fair people.”
And, as blogger Eric Raymond notes, the response has been divided: “Because humans are excessively tribal, it’s difficult now to call for justice against Eric Garner’s murderers without being lumped in with the ‘wrong side.’ Nor will Garner’s partisans, on the whole, have any truck with people who aren’t interested in poisonously racializing the circumstances of his death.”
“In a tribalized society, what matters is what tribe you belong to, and who is on top at the moment.”
This is a tragedy, but not a surprise. Tribalism is the default state of humanity: The tendency to defend our own tribe even when we think it’s wrong, and to attack other tribes even when they’re right, just because they’re other.
[Glenn Reynolds‘ book “The New School: How the Information Age Will Save American Education from Itself“ is available at Amazon]
Societies that give in to the temptations of tribalism — which are always present — wind up spending a lot of their energy on internal strife, and are prone to disintegrate into spectacular factionalism and infighting, often to the point of self-destruction. Read the rest of this entry »
“We’ve closed out more than half of them, with nine arrests being made, and we’ll continue to investigate the others.”
New York City is “investigating reports of over 50 incidents of reported threats against [city police] officers since the death of . . two officers this past weekend,” city police commissioner Bill Bratton said….(read more)
Progressives and the Police
‘What do we want? Dead cops!” So chanted marchers at one of the protests organized in the last month against the failure of grand juries to indict white officers in the death of black crime suspects Michael Brown and Eric Garner. On Saturday they got their wish, as a black assailant citing revenge for Brown and Garner traveled from Maryland to murder two cops sitting in their patrol car in Brooklyn.
“America is full of Brinsleys who no longer abide the norms of civilized behavior, if they even know what those norms are. They need but the slightest excuse to take justice into their own hands and go on a rampage.”
“They were quite simply assassinated, targeted for their uniform,” New York Police Commissioner William Bratton said, and so they were. Garner and Brown were resisting arrest, but the two young officers never had a chance even to pull their guns. They had been marked for death near a high-crime housing project they were trying to protect against criminal predators.
“Especially in urban America, the police walk that line between civilization and mayhem every day.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio , Attorney General Eric Holder and President Obama were all quick to condemn the shooting. And let’s stipulate that no one other than the alleged shooter, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, is responsible for pulling the trigger. Chased into the subway by police, he then shot himself. Read the rest of this entry »
“Brinsley’s family is Muslim; however, they say he has never expressed any radical sentiments at all. They report that he has had a troubled life; he has attempted to hang himself in the past and may have been on medication for mental illness.”
New York police held a press conference Sunday afternoon shedding further light on the murders of officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos on Saturday, revealing a troubled young man had driven from Maryland that morning and boasted to two men that he was about to do something big right before the execution-style shooting.
The perpetrator Ismaaiyl Brinsley, age 28, was born in New York, went to high school in New Jersey, and went back and forth from Georgia through the later part of his life. His father currently lives in New Jersey and mother lives in Brooklyn.
“He has a child but is estranged with the mother; she does not appear to be the same woman as his ex-girlfriend, who he shot early Saturday morning before driving to New York City.”
Brinsley has a history of run-ins with the law. He has 15 prior arrests in Georgia for assorted crimes: misdemeanor assault, larceny, shoplifting, and gun possession, dated from 2004 to 2013. He was arrested 4 times in Ohio from May 2009 to September 2009–robbery and misdemeanor theft. He served over 2 years in various prisons, mostly from a 2-year sentence for the Georgia case of criminal possession of a weapon.
Law enforcement stated that Brinsley had been broken up with his ex-girlfriend for a year, he entered her home in Maryland yesterday with a key he was not supposed to have. At 5:50 AM, Baltimore police received a report of shots fired, and when they arrived, the ex-girlfriend IDed him–he had already left. Baltimore police tracked him as he was driving on I-95, and he called police to say he shot his ex accidentally and hoped she survived. He also called the woman’s mother several times while driving, apologizing to her. Read the rest of this entry »
‘If you visited from Mars in the last few months, you would think police do no good in society at all”Posted: December 21, 2014
There have been at least three ambushes this year of law-enforcement officials that garnered national attention. In June Las Vegas police officers Alyn Beck, 41, and Igor Soldo, 31 were ambushed as they sat in a restaurant. One of the suspects in that shooting died in a gunbattle with authorities, and his wife committed suicide.
The assassination of two New York City police officers this weekend has emboldened police and their supporters to lash out at weeks of nationwide protest and criticism that they say have left police more vulnerable.
“This senseless murder of two of New York’s finest further exemplifies the dangerous political climate in which all members of law enforcement, nationwide, now find themselves. Not since the political unrest of the 1960s have police officers been so targeted.”
— Baltimore police union President Gene Ryan, in a posting on the Baltimore Fraternal Order of Police website
Police are investigating social-media posts by the apparent assailant in the point-blank fatal shootings Saturday of the two officers who were sitting in their patrol car in Brooklyn. In them, he allegedly talked about killing officers in retaliation for the deaths of Eric Garner on Staten Island, N.Y., and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., this summer in confrontations with police.
Experts on law enforcement said the demonstrations that followed grand jury decisions not to charge the officers in those cases have strained police morale across the U.S. as officers have been forced to defend their tactics, then deploy in big numbers to demonstrations against those tactics.
“This senseless murder of two of New York’s finest further exemplifies the dangerous political climate in which all members of law enforcement, nationwide, now find themselves,” Baltimore police union President Gene Ryan said in a posting on the Baltimore Fraternal Order of Police website. “Not since the political unrest of the 1960s have police officers been so targeted.”
“If you visited from Mars in the last few months, you would think police do no good in society at all”
— Eugene O’Donnell, a professor of law and police studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City
On Sunday, a somber-faced New York Mayor Bill de Blasio , who has come under withering criticism from the city’s police union after the killings, attended Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan, flanked in a pew by his wife and Police Commissioner William Bratton . “We are in solidarity with you,” New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan told the public officials. Read the rest of this entry »
Two uniformed NYPD officers were shot dead Saturday afternoon as they sat in their marked police car on a Brooklyn street corner — in what investigators believe was a crazed gunman’s assassination-style mission to avenge Eric Garner and Michael Brown.
“We’re all in this together.”
Mayor De Blasio, to grieving cops
“No we’re not.”
One of the grieving cops
“It’s an execution,” one law-enforcement source said of the 3 p.m. shooting of police officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos.
The tragic heroes were working overtime as part of an anti-terrorism drill in Bedford-Stuyvesant when they were shot point-blank in the head by the lone gunman, identified by sources as Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, who had addresses in Georgia and Brooklyn.
Moments after killing the two officers, he too was dead, having turned the gun on himself on a nearby subway platform as cops closed in.
“I’m Putting Wings on Pigs Today,” a person believed to be the gunman wrote on Instagram in a message posted just three hours before the officers were shot.
“They Take 1 Of Ours…Let’s Take 2 of Theirs,” the post continued, signing off with, “This May Be My Final Post.”
The Instagram page included an image of a silver automatic handgun with a wooden handle. Another image showed the same camouflage pants and distinctive blue sneakers worn by the gunman as his body was carried from the scene on a stretcher.
He used the hashtag #ShootThePolice, along with two other hashtags referencing Garner and Brown.
Brinsley walked up to the cops’ patrol car at the corner of Myrtle and Tompkins avenues, approaching from the sidewalk. Read the rest of this entry »
Police Officer Wenjian Liu and Police Officer Rafael Ramos were shot and killed from ambush while sitting in their patrol car at the intersection of Myrtle Avenue and Thompkins Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Both officers were participating in an anti-terrorism drill when a subject walked up their patrol car and opened fire with a handgun, striking them both in the head and upper body multiple times. Other officers immediately pursued the the subject into a nearby subway station where the man committed suicide.
The subject was a gang member from Baltimore, Maryland, who had traveled to New York City specifically to ambush police officers. The man had published his intentions on social media prior to the shooting.
Officer Liu had served with the New York City Police Department for four years. Read the rest of this entry »
Two uniformed NYPD officers were shot dead — execution style — as they sat in their marked police car on a Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, street corner.
“I saw an officer being put on a stretcher…There was lots of chaos and confusion.”
According to preliminary reports, both officers were working overtime as part of an anti-terrorism drill when they were shot point-blank by a single gunman who approached their car at the corner of Myrtle and Tompkins avenues.
“It’s an execution,” one law enforcement source told The Post of the 3 p.m. shooting.
The gunman just started “pumping bullets” into the patrol car, another source said.
The suspected gunman fled to a nearby subway station at Myrtle and Willoughby avenues, where he was fatally shot. Preliminary reports were unclear on whether he was shot by police or his own hand.
“They engaged the guy and he did himself,” one investigator said.
“I heard shooting, — four or five shots,” ear-witness Derrick McKie, 49, told The Post. Read the rest of this entry »
David Harsanyi writes: After news of the baffling decision by the New York grand jury not to indict a police officer in the killing of Eric Garner, I sent out a (slightly) hyperbolic tweet that wondered why Americans would want to entrust their free speech and health care to an institution that will kill you over failure to pay a cigarette tax.
If they can kill you over a cigarette tax, why would you trust them to run the internet, regulate your speech and choose your health care?
— David Harsanyi (@davidharsanyi) December 4, 2014
Since then, I’ve seen numerous tweets discounting this argument as preposterous. It’s something akin to blaming jaywalking for the death of Michael Brown, we’re told. Rand Paul touched on the issue in an interview on msnbc yesterday and was, predictably, ridiculed for it by liberals – because mentioning the circumstances of a violent act is preposterous, apparently.
Though it certainly isn’t close to being the most important lesson of this inexplicable case, it’s not something that should be dismissed so flippantly.
Garner wasn’t targeted for death because he was avoiding taxes, but nonetheless, prohibitive cigarette taxes unnecessarily create situations that make events like this possible.
We frame violent acts and unintended consequences in this way all the time. When we discuss how illegal immigrant women can be the helpless victims of domestic violence, we also blame unreasonable laws for creating the situation. Read the rest of this entry »