Black Lives Matter and other groups demanded an apology Monday from New York police commissioner William Bratton and police union head Patrick Lynch for linking Saturday’s deadly police ambush to recent protests.
“Commissioner Bratton and Patrick Lynch must immediately apologize to New Yorkers who desperately want change in the city. Mayor [Bill] de Blasio and other elected officials should condemn these opportunistic distractions that attempt to avoid meaningful reform,” said the statement from a dozen groups on the Black Lives Matter Facebook page.
The statement said the actions of 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who shot and killed two officers Saturday in Brooklyn as they sat in their patrol car, were unrelated to the slew of nationwide rallies, die-ins and marches condemning the deaths this year of several black men at the hands of police.
Marchers at these rallies often claimed the killings were deliberate murders and/or racist lynchings, and essentially a continuation of the slavery and segregation of other eras. There have been several reports of marchers calling for cop-killings in retaliation.
“A troubled young man who began his day by attempting to kill his ex-partner, shot two officers and then killed himself has nothing to do with a broad non-violent movement for change,” said the Black Lives Matter statement. “The NYPD is conveniently ignoring the facts surrounding this tragedy in order to score cheap political points.”
Authorities said Mr. Brinsley, who killed himself after being chased by bystanders into a subway station, had posted angry anti-police and anti-government messages on social media. He had also referred online to 18-year-old Michael Brown and 43-year-old Eric Garner, black men who were killed in skirmishes this year with police.
“I’m Putting Wings On Pigs Today. They Take 1 Of Ours, Let’s Take 2 of Theirs,” Mr. Brinsley said in an Instagram post, according to authorities.
Mr. Lynch, president of the Patrolman’s Benevolent Association, blamed protesters and Mr. de Blasio late Saturday for creating an anti-police climate.
“There’s blood on many hands tonight,” Mr. Lynch said. “Those that incited violence on this street under the guise of protest, that tried to tear down what New York City police officers did every day.”
“We tried to warn it must not go on, it cannot be tolerated,” Mr. Lynch continued. “That blood on the hands starts on the steps of city hall in the office of the mayor.”
The Black Lives Matter statement also renewed “our condolences to the families and friends of those injured and killed this weekend.”
“This is not a time for political grandstanding and punditry,” said the statement. “Unfortunately, we continue to see elected officials and police leadership twist this tragedy into an opportunity for them to silence the cries for justice from families who have lost their loved ones to police violence. Our families matter, too.”
Other groups signing the statement include Ferguson Action, Brooklyn Movement Center, Hands Up United, National Domestic Workers Alliance, Dignity & Power Now, Dream Defenders, Organization for Black Struggle, Million Hoodies Movement for Justice, and Concerned Citizens for Justice.
• Valerie Richardson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Click to Read More and View Comments
Click to Hide
Please read our comment policy before commenting.