print(Date("l F d, Y")); ?>
By Andrea Peyser
December 12, 2016
Blue lives matter — now as much as ever.
It was Dec. 20, 2014. As New York City Police Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu sat in their squad car in Brooklyn, suddenly and without warning, they were ambushed by gun-wielding assassin Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28. The madman had driven from Baltimore to the city, ranting on Instagram that he planned to put “wings on pigs” to avenge the deaths at the hands of police of Eric Garner and Michael Brown.
The deranged murderer then fled into a nearby subway station, where he committed suicide by gun as cops closed in.
The loss of the two fine men in blue, who were posthumously promoted to detectives, struck terror into hearts all over the city and brutalized two families, never to recover.
“I’m down, it’s not a good day,’’ Maritza Ramos, 40, who in an instant turned from a cop’s wife into a widow, told me when I reached her on the telephone Thursday.
“Tomorrow would be my husband’s 42nd birthday. I’m just trying to get by.”
Ramos also left two sons, now 15 and 20 years old.
Were the senseless killings rare occurrences, it might be possible to bury the dead, move on and seek ways to ensure this never happens again. But across America, the slaughter of men and women sworn to serve and protect has become frighteningly routine.
Last week, a police officer and a college safety agent in Georgia were mowed down while checking out a reported domestic incident at a housing complex, taken from this life by a creature who then shot himself to death.
The slayings brought to at least 62 the number of law-enforcement personnel nationwide who have lost their lives on the wrong end of assailants’ firearms so far this year. That’s up sharply from the 41 gunpoint killings tabulated in 2015 by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
The deadly shootings, which occur, on average, more than once a week, raise a disturbing question: Is Black Lives Matter at least partly to blame?
Some in law enforcement, as well as civilians, believe, with justification, that the marked uptick in the killings of police, after years of decline, is the result of an energized Black Lives Matter movement.
“While we mourn and grieve and commit ourselves to supporting the survivors, we must also stand up and speak out against the senseless agitators and gutless politicians who helped bring about these murders,” according to a July statement put out by the National Association of Police Organizations.
BLM, whose adherents protest the deaths of African-Americans in police custody, has won support from President Obama, Mayor de Blasio, the Rev. Al Sharpton and celebrities, including Beyoncé and Jay Z, filmmaker Quentin Tarantino and San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Their anger is understandable.
But the taking of cop lives should enrage every good human being.
New York state Assemblyman Ron Castorina (R-Staten Island) has introduced a Blue Lives Matter bill into the state Legislature.
Modeled on a Louisiana law, the measure would make using physical force against a police officer a hate crime, increasing penalties against offenders. So far, the bill has stalled. A shame.
Things are only getting worse.
The week of Thanksgiving, a police sergeant in St. Louis miraculously survived two shots to the head after being ambushed by a gunman, who was shot and killed by cops. The same day, a San Antonio, Texas, officer was fatally shot during a traffic stop, described by local police as “a targeted killing, similar to recent police shootings in Dallas and Baton Rouge, La.,” CNN reported.
The comparisons are chilling.
The cop murders in Dallas were carried out on July 7 by an African-American ex-Army reservist who’d expressed his hatred of Caucasians, particularly Jews. He shot to death five white police officers and injured seven others and two civilians before being blown to bits by a police bomb-squad robot.
Ten days later in Baton Rouge, a Marine Corps veteran, described by an official as a “black separatist,” shot to death one black and two white law-enforcement officers and injured three others as revenge for the shooting death of a black man by police, before being gunned down by cops.
Police have targets on their backs. If the violence is not stopped, there will be no one left to protect us.
That would be cause for protest.