To the Editor:
In 2013, then mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio cited the Charles Dickens masterpiece “A Tale of Two Cities” to compare New York City to the squalor, hunger and economic warfare in Paris that led to the storming of the jail “the Bastille” in 1789, marking the birth of the French Revolution.
Since 2014, de Blasio has led his own storming of the Bastille: the closing of Rikers Island jails, marking a surge in his anti-law-enforcement agenda.
On July 6, 2017, de Blasio departed for Hamburg, Germany to protest the G20 summit the day after the assassination of a NYC police officer killed in the line of duty. Also protesting at the same G20 summit were violent masked demonstrators throwing rocks and bottles at police leaving hundreds of police officers injured. https://nypost.com/2017/07/06/de-blasio-races-to-germany-to-protest-g20-summit/
On June 27, 2019, Mayor de Blasio quoted Marxist revolutionary and Fidel Castro comrade Ernesto “Che” Guevara. The Mayor appeared to encourage and motivate a group of striking airport workers at Miami airport by enthusiastically shouting “hasta la victoria siempre.” This phrase is attributed to Guevara and translated to mean “until victory always” or “ever on to victory.” The victory Guevara was speaking of was a communist victory over democracy. https://www.apnews.com/e875acdcaa934755a71e0bae18076587
Since his mayoralty began, de Blasio has anchored police and correction officers in an ocean of despair, anxiety and trepidation, never comparing their plight to any great novel, never protesting side by side with police officers and never quoting the hopes of correction officers.
Shakespeare wrote, “For the eye sees not itself, but by reflection…” Does de Blasio not see that his anti-law-enforcement policies provoke resentment toward police and correction officers? He has already lost the support of law enforcement as a result of his inept leadership and anti-police rhetoric, even prior to police officers being doused with buckets of water in July.
Mayor de Blasio is not respected and incapable of leading. His quixotic approach to policing and correction reform has put police and correction officers in serious peril. His unrealistic vision of laissez-faire-style law enforcement is nothing more than romanticism. His lack of fortitude for the rule of law has left correction officers sentenced to hard labor and recast police officers as bad guys.
The rule of law should not be tenuous. Correction officers are cloistered in jails devoid of advocacy and political support while police officers are sometimes left stranded and isolated in a crowded city of more than 8 million because the Mayor has left a stain on their integrity. This jeopardizes everyone’s safety leaving our communities and our jails vulnerable.
City Hall must exercise its authority and support correction and police officers. The fair administration of the rule of law is indispensable and must be the highest priority, not only in theory and rhetoric but also, in policy and action. Law and order are the first and second dominoes in the row, and when they are knocked down, all the other dominoes will fall.
New York City is nothing like the squalor and hunger of Paris in 1789 that de Blasio portrayed to potential voters with his campaign mantra calling NYC “A Tale of Two Cities.“ And although there is an economic divide, he has done nothing to bridge that gap.
What de Blasio has unfortunately done is re-create the “Carmagnole” in NYC jails, the dance in late 18th-century Paris depicted in the Dickens classic that represented the never-ending violence of the French Revolution. For the past five years, the never-ending violence of the carmagnole has manifested itself in our jails sending hundreds of injured correction officers to the hospital. Regrettably, I submit that violence against police officers will increase because of de Blasio’s anti-police philosophy. The majority of NYC police and correction officers have lost confidence in the Mayor.
Bill de Blasio is non-ambiguous. He is anti-law enforcement. I am resigned to the dismal fact that NYC police and correction officers will not be safe until we have a new Mayor in 2022.
Hopefully, then de Blasio’s revolutionary fantasy, the carmagnole dance and his political friction with police and correction officers will finally end.
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