Politics & Policy

An Assassination of Truth

NYPD officers attend the funeral of Wenjian Liu, January 4, 2015.
If there is a War on Black America, the warriors are not cops but blacks murdering blacks.

NYPD Detective Wenjian Liu’s recent funeral and that of his patrol partner Detective Rafael Ramos would have been fractionally less tragic if they had been murdered in deranged reaction to a real problem. Imagine that they worked for a major automobile manufacturer and were gunned down by someone obsessed with America’s 30,800 motor-vehicle fatalities in 2012. These murders still would remain hideous, though one might acknowledge the underlying societal challenge that fueled such an intolerable response.

But the assassinations of Liu and Ramos were not like this. Their murders, NYPD commissioner William Bratton correctly argues, were a “direct spinoff” of the Left’s sulfurous rage over “racist killer cops” and their alleged serial homicides against black Americans in general and black men in particular. Blacks, the Left contends, are being wiped out by prejudiced police officers consumed with anti-black hatred.

This is a compelling and disturbing story. It also is a monstrous fiction or — more accurately — a volatile, stinking pile of lies.

Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley murdered Liu and Ramos execution-style in retaliation for the police-involved deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in Staten Island. Despite having enough hatred aimed at him to melt steel, none of police officer Darren Wilson’s millions of critics has presented so much as one e-mail, letter, locker-room quip, precinct-house whisper, or other sliver of evidence that he harbors any hostility whatsoever toward blacks. In particular, Wilson has not exhibited enough such animus to murder Brown, an 18-year-old who (a racially integrated grand jury concluded) reached for Wilson’s gun and then charged at him like a raging bull — just minutes after strong-arm robbing cigars from a convenience store.

NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo’s chokehold of Eric “I can’t breathe” Garner was as sad, senseless, and needless as Garner’s subsequent heart attack was fatal. Nonetheless, no one has given proof that Pantaleo was a bigot. Indeed, he and his unit were supervised that fateful day by Kizzy Adoni, a black female NYPD sergeant.

Furthermore, Esaw Snipes, Garner’s widow, said on Meet the Press: “I really don’t feel like it’s a black-and-white thing.” Garner and Snipes’s daughter, Erica, agreed. She told CNN, “This is not a black-and-white issue.”

But the colorlessness of the Brown and Garner deaths did not prevent Brinsley from gunning down Liu and Ramos as they sat in their squad car in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. “I’m putting wings on pigs today,” Brinsley wrote en route to New York City to avenge Brown and “ErivGardner” (sic) before he turned his gun on himself. “They Take 1 Of Ours…… Let’s Take 2 Of Theirs.”

 

 

Sickeningly, some cheered this butchery.

“That nigga that shot the cops is a legend,” one Brinsley fan applauded. Brandeis University student Khadijah Lynch declared December 20 that she had “no sympathy for the NYPD officers who were murdered today.” The former undergraduate representative in Brandeis’s African and Afro-American Studies Department added: “I hate this racist fucking country.”

#page#Before and since Liu’s and Ramos’s assassinations, left-wing agitators and rioters have spoken about the police and blacks as if America in 2015 were the Deep South in 1955. These claims are baseless, bizarre, and — now – deadly.

“NYPD, KKK, how many kids did you kill today?” a group of rabble-rousers screamed, according to the New York Post.

How gross — and grossly false.

Unlike the Ku Klux Klan, the NYPD is not a whites-only organization. According to the latest edition of the department’s Crime and Enforcement Activity in New York City, as of December 31, 2013, the NYPD’s 34,584 uniformed officers were 51.8 percent white, 26.5 percent Hispanic, 15.8 percent black, 5.9 percent Asian, and 0.1 percent “other.” If the NYPD practices white supremacy, it’s remarkably rusty.

In fact, the two murdered detectives helped color this rainbow. Rafael Ramos was a Gotham native of Hispanic heritage. “He was a Puerto Rican kid who grew up on these streets,” Ramos’s pastor, Deacon John Cortes of Queens Christ Tabernacle Church in Queens, said in the Washington Post.

Wenjian Liu was laid to rest on January 4 — one week after Ramos —  so that his family could fly in from China, where Liu was born. Liu’s memorial included prayers by Buddhist monks. WNBC reported that Liu’s mother and father avoided the actual interment of their only child. Chinese parents explicitly are not supposed to bury their offspring.

Does any of this resemble a cross burning?

Indeed, an unusual source last month confirmed the NYPD’s heterogeneity.

“They should have killed two white cops instead of the Hispanic and Asian,” Elvin Payamps allegedly complained into his cell phone. “I’m going to kill another cop. We should do it before Christmas.” Wary of these overheard threats, NYPD officers arrested Payamps in Queens on December 24. He was charged with felony aggravated harassment and weapons violations.

Well, even if the NYPD does not resemble the Aryan Nation, its officers are just tyrants in blue, right? As the Stop Mass Incarceration Network’s Travis Morales told the New York Post, “Police day in and day out brutalize and murder people with impunity.”

If the NYPD’s daily mayhem really is routine bordering on mundane, a city agency called the Civilian Complaint Review Board certainly would have heard this news. The CCRB began 22 years ago as an independent watchdog against police abuse. Yet despite the invective being hurled at the NYPD, reports of its misconduct have plummeted.

 

 

From January 1, 2014, through November 30, total complaints to the CCRB were down 10 percent, and excessive-force claims were off by 11 percent. These improvements were most dramatic in the five months from July 1 through November 30. Complaints totaled 1,813 versus 2,450 a year earlier. This 26 percent decrease is the steepest five-month plunge since this oversight panel’s 1993 launch. During this interval, which included Eric Garner’s death, excessive-force reports slid 29 percent. Even profanity accusations tumbled by 20 percent in America’s most foul-mouthed city.

#page#What about police shootings? Surely the NYPD is gunning down black men with abandon.

 

The latest data, in the NYPD’s 2013 Annual Firearms Discharge Report, tell the opposite story. “The Department has made restraint the norm,” this document explains. NYPD officers shot and killed 93 criminal subjects in 1971, when such annual statistics began. In 2013, they mortally shot a grand total of eight people. Despite a spike to 16 in 2012, this tied the NYPD’s 2010 low-water mark for fatal shootings.

The eight whom the NYPD killed in 2013 were all males. Two were Hispanic. Six were black. One of these black men wielded a knife. The other five were armed with handguns. One of them had been arrested 13 times before he fired six shots at two cops on a subway car, non-lethally striking both, as well as a passenger. One policeman then dispatched the criminal. Another subject had been arrested nine times and spent more than 25 years in prison before triggering a bullet-filled street altercation. He aimed his gun at two officers, one of whom cut him down.

That same year, the NYPD reports, 335 New Yorkers were murdered, and 63 percent — or 211 of them — were black. The FBI’s Crime in the United States 2013 specifies that 90 percent of black murder victims nationally are killed by black assailants. If those figures apply locally, black New Yorkers killed 190 black murder victims in 2013 — roughly one every other day.

Strangely, this mass carnage generates neither protests, chants, nor even a letter-writing campaign by the “Black Lives Matter” crowd.

So, Gotham’s cops have cleaned up their language and, in 2013, shot and killed just six black men, all of whom were armed and dangerous. Where, exactly, does one find the NYPD’s brutality and murder — “day in and day out?”

Once again, these slanderous claims turn out to be another gift-wrapped pack of lies.

One painful truth is that blacks are staggeringly over-represented in the areas of gunfire and murder. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, New York City’s population was 23 percent black in 2013. Nonetheless, the NYPD found, blacks were 63 percent of murder victims and 55 percent of murder suspects. Blacks were 74 percent of shooting victims and 75 percent of shooting suspects. Among those arrested on firearms violations, 69 percent were black. Of those criminal subjects who shot at police officers that year, 100 percent were black.

#page#The “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” Caucus says little if anything about these disappointing data. Instead, these demonstrators portray all blacks as mere innocents terrorized by a bigoted legal system and its sadistic enforcers.

In fact, the radical ANSWER Coalition believes this entire situation is nothing less than a “War on Black America.”

So, is there actually a nationwide police program to liquidate blacks?

The Left is right about this: There is very limited reliable national information on their chief beef — that white cops slay innocent blacks. “Federal databases that track police use of force or arrest-related deaths paint only a partial picture,” Jaeah Lee observed last August 15 in Mother Jones. “No agency appears to track the number of police shootings or killings of unarmed victims in a systematic, comprehensive way.”

It sure would help if the U.S. Department of Justice maintained such figures from across America. Of course, Attorney General Eric ​Holder has run Justice for six years now, and Obama has had his pen and phone since January 20, 2009. So, if such statistics are scarce, the Left should scold these two black men for not gathering them in the first place.

Using what proof he could locate, however, City Journal senior editor Steve Malanga found the Left’s slogans ring hollow. As he wrote on December 4, “The data show that significant crime declines have been accompanied by a leveling off and then a reduction in confrontations with the police, as reported by Americans of all races.” Citing the latest Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) information, Malanga explained that in 2002, 173,000 blacks reported that police officers had used force against them. By 2011, that figure had fallen to 130,000 — a 25 percent drop. In 2002, 78 percent of blacks agreed with this statement: “When I was stopped by police, the officers acted properly.” In 2011, 83 percent of blacks concurred.

The BJS also revealed that blacks were more than six times likelier than whites to have been murder victims in 2011 (27.8 per 100,000 versus 4.5 per 100,000). Blacks also were almost eight times likelier to have committed murder than whites (34.4 per 100,000 versus 4.5 per 100,000).

“Police killings of blacks are an extremely rare feature of black life and are a minute fraction of black homicide deaths,” Manhattan Institute fellow Heather Mac Donald argued December 22. “The police could end all killings of civilians tomorrow and it would have no effect on the black homicide risk, which comes overwhelmingly from other blacks.”

Based on spotty but best-available numbers from the FBI, USA Today reported last August that, on average, white police officers killed 96 blacks annually between 2006 and 2012. This included both armed and unarmed individuals.

In 2013, the FBI indicates, 12,253 Americans were murdered. Among them, 51 percent — or 6,261 of them — were black. Since blacks compose 13 percent of the U.S. population, blacks were 392 percent over-represented among murder victims. And some 90 percent of them (5,635) were killed by other blacks.

So, if we assume that the trend from 2006 to 2012 continued into 2013, white cops killed 96 blacks — including some who were armed — while black killers annihilated 5,635 black people. Incredibly, 1.7 percent of the problem receives 100 percent of the attention.

If there is a War on Black America, the warriors are not cops. The warriors are black murderers who destroy other blacks.

Thus, the Left’s full-throated, now fatal, fury is more than just a high-volume attack on the police. It’s an assassination of truth.

Please join me in supporting the Silver Shield Foundation, which is assisting the families of Detectives Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos. Donations can be made online or by check to the Silver Shield Foundation, 870 UN Plaza, First Floor, New York, NY 10017.

— Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online.

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