By Jeanne Sager
October 6, 2011
The Occupy Wall Street movement was designed to make Americans join together in anger against the fat cats in the Financial District. But another unlikely villain has emerged: the NYPD. A dark cloud has settled over New York’s Finest, and the city’s officers aren’t doing themselves any favors.
The latest embarrassment comes from a uniformed officer caught on camera braggingabout his plans to give his nightstick a workout last night. With no unruly folks actually milling around in the background of the video when the unidentified cop brags about his powerful stick, it puts a chilling new angle on the riot that ensued last night, with cops pulling out batons and beating on protesters. Were the protesters really a problem? Or was this a bunch of power-hungry cops? Take a look:
If this were just one embarrassing video, we could say, “Eh, bad apple spoils the bunch.” But this comes on the heels of the news of a cushy $4.6 million donation from the chief of the fat cats, JP Morgan Chase, to the NYPD’s non-profit organization, just as the boys in blue shut down a peaceful protest on the Brooklyn Bridge with questionable motives. People are already asking whether the police are approaching protesters with pre-conceived plans or if they’re responding to actual issues on the street. Now you have an officer on camera proving that he has every intention of pulling out his nightstick … even before he encounters a lawbreaker?
Granted, there are hundreds, thousands probably, of good cops out there on the streets. It’s rough dealing with huge crowds, even peaceful ones. And if you have to follow orders to keep your job, you follow orders.
But add the video of this crappy cop to that of a white shirted-cop smacking protesters in the back with his baton and admissions from a Fox 5 reporter that he got a smack to the stomach from an officer while his cameraman was maced, it’s getting harder and harder to defend the city’s police force as a whole.
Things may be rotten in the Financial District, but something stinks at One Police Plaza too.