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Why No Outrage?

December 17, 2018

“Mr. Mayor, Why No Outrage Over a Mother’s Brutal Arrest?”

That was the Dec. 10 online headline from The New York Times editorial board, which criticized Mayor Bill de Blasio’s initial non-response to the charge that police “ripped a 1-year-old boy from his mother’s arms,” as the newspaper’s news story described the incident.

Granted, this is the same editorial board that in 2015 called for firing NYPD Officer James Frascatore, who is white, after he tackled biracial tennis star James Blake as he stood outside a midtown hotel, mistaking him for a suspect wanted in a credit card fraud ring. That editorial compared Frascatore to Daniel Pantaleo, who may or may not have used a chokehold that led to the death of Eric Garner, a death that fanned the anti-police narrative that police regularly mistreat and even kill innocent African Americans. [Jazmine Headley, the mother of the 1 year old, “ripped” from her arms, is black.]

Yet when it comes to de Blasio’s initial lack of outrage over Headley’s arrest, the Times’ editorial board got it right, at least in part. “Mr. de Blasio’s handling of the incident shows how far he has strayed from his righteous roots as a candidate promising to hold the police accountable and change the way they interact with minority residents like Ms. Headley,” the Times stated.

Click here to read what the police brass say about NYPD ConfidentialIndeed, while virtually every city official bayed to the moon in criticizing the police, it took the mayor a while to explain himself. “I reached out to the commissioners involved for an update on what had happened and why,” the mayor said three days later. “Until I got their side of what happened I could not speak to the public. Once I had it, I did.  What I say has to be definitive.”

Click here to read the New York Times profile of Leonard LevittContrast these words with his statement the day after the 2016 fatal police shooting of Deborah Danner, an emotionally disturbed black woman, by Sgt. Hugh Barry, who is white. After Jim O’Neill, in his first week as commissioner, expressed sorrow over her death, the mayor went over the top.

Although the police investigation was ongoing, the mayor said: “It’s quite clear that our officers are supposed to use deadly force only when faced with a dire situation, and it is very hard for any of us to see that that standard was met here. … Deborah Danner should be alive right now. Period.”

Click here to read the Washington Post article on NYPD ConfidentialBarry was subsequently acquitted of criminality. He faces departmental charges at an unspecified date. Last week, the city settled with the Danner family for $2 million.

Since then, the mayor has apparently learned to keep his mouth shut until all the facts are revealed. Not so the Times editorial board.
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