Day of Appreciation for New York's Finest... Cold Blooded Murderers

January 12, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


In the face of a growing national movement against police brutality and murder, this system is trying to defend its armed enforcers, claiming they are "heroes putting their lives on the line every day to defend ordinary people." January 9 was declared the first "National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day" and leading up to this, New York City's Mayor Bill de Blasio held a press conference on January 5 to declare that the NY Police Department (NYPD) is "the world's greatest police department," and praised "hardworking officers...who tirelessly perform their duty to serve and protect our communities."

To mark this day, would like to offer this list—which is only a partial list of the crimes against the people that this "greatest police department" has carried out:

April 28, 1973—Murder of Clifford Glover: Clifford, a 10-year-old Black child, was with his stepfather in Jamaica, Queens when they were confronted by plainclothes police. Afraid of the men, the two ran; the cops opened fire, shooting Clifford twice and killing him.

September 1983—Murder of Michael Stewart: Stewart, a 25-year-old Black graffiti artist, was arrested for tagging in a Manhattan subway station on September 15. He was beaten so badly in the patrol car that his screams drew dozens of people in nearby dorms to their windows. He went into a coma and died on September 28.

October 29, 1984—Murder of Eleanor Bumpurs: Eleanor was a 66-year-old, emotionally disturbed Black woman. NYPD cops came to her Bronx apartment to evict her; when she refused to let them in the apartment and waved a kitchen knife; they blew away her hand with one shot from a 12-gauge shotgun, then fired again to her chest, killing her.

September 17, 1994—Murder of Nicholas Heyward, Jr.: Nicholas Jr. was a 13-year-old Black child playing cops and robbers with friends in the stairwell of his Gowanus Homes building in Brooklyn. His toy guy had orange day-glow parts on it. A cop shot and killed him. According to a friend who was there, his last words were, "We're playing."

December 22, 1994—Murder of Anthony Baez: Anthony and his brother were playing touch football in front of their home in the Bronx. Their ball hit a cop car. The cop arrested Anthony's brother. When Anthony calmly tried to intervene, he was attacked and put in a chokehold; as his father begged the cop to let him go because he had asthma, the cop choked Anthony to death. (The NYPD had banned the chokehold at that point.) The case went to trial before a judge, who ruled that police testimony was "a nest of perjury"... and then acquitted the cop! (Later the cop was tried on federal charges and sentenced to only seven years in jail.)

January 12, 1995—Murders of Anthony Rosario and Hilton Vega: Three young Puerto Rican men went to a friend's apartment to collect money for a wedding. Without warning, two white men came out of the back room with guns out, yelling at everyone to get down on the floor. Hilton, 21, and Anthony, 18, were murdered as they lay face down—a total of 22 shots, all of which entered their back or side. Their friend survived by playing dead. The killers turned out to be NYPD cops and former bodyguards to NYC's Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who called them that night to congratulate them for "a job well-done."

August 9, 1997—Torture of Abner Louima: Abner was a 30-year-old Haitian immigrant out at a dance club in Brooklyn. A fight broke out and a cop mistakenly thought that Louima had hit him. He was arrested, beaten in the squad car, and then taken to the precinct. There, at least four cops took him into the bathroom, pulled his pants down and sodomized him with a toilet plunger, causing severe damage to his internal organs. In spite of his loud screaming, not a single cop in the precinct asked what was wrong, interfered with the torture, or came to his aid in any way. All the cops united to cover up what had happened, until a courageous nurse at the hospital where Abner was treated leaked the story of what happened. This led to massive protests. One cop was sentenced to prison for sodomizing Louima. One cop did some time for perjury in helping to cover this crime up.

February 4, 1999—Murder of Amadou Diallo: Amadou was a 23-year-old immigrant from the African nation of Guinea. A hard-working street vendor, he was standing near his Bronx apartment after midnight when four plainclothes cops in a car shouted at him. He ran into his building vestibule. The cops ordered him to stop. He reached in his pocket and took out his wallet. The cops opened fire, shooting 41 bullets, 19 of which struck and killed Diallo. Then the cops spent a couple of hours ransacking his apartment, looking—unsuccessfully—for drugs or anything else they could use to smear his name and justify the murder.

March 1, 2000—Murder of Malcolm Ferguson: Malcolm was a 23-year-old Black man. He came into his building in the Bronx to encounter a plainclothes cop harassing other young men inside the building. Malcolm ran; the cop chased him with his gun drawn, grabbed him and blew his brains out. After seven years, a jury awarded his mother $10.5 million dollars, but the cop who killed him never faced criminal charges.

March 16, 2000—Murder of Patrick Dorismond: 25-year-old Patrick Dorismond, the son of Haitian immigrants, was in midtown Manhattan after midnight. He and a fellow security guard were waiting on the street for a cab. Patrick's friend said a man came up to them and asked if they knew where he could buy marijuana. Patrick told the guy to move on and said he didn't want to talk. The stranger (who was an undercover narcotics cop) persisted. An argument and some kind of scuffle broke out. Another undercover cop came running up with his gun drawn. He started beating Patrick with the pistol and then shot him in the chest. The cops reportedly never identified themselves.

November 25, 2006—Murder of Sean Bell; wounding of Joseph Guzman and Trent Benefield: Sean Bell was a 23-year-old Black man, out celebrating his marriage to the mother of his two daughters—planned for later that day—with three friends at a strip club in Queens. A tense situation was developing in the club so they decided to leave. When they tried to pull out, their car was blocked by an unmarked car with three plainclothes cops. Fearing they were being robbed or attacked, they backed into the cop's car. The cops responded by opening fire, shooting 50 bullets at them. Sean Bell died on his wedding day, and his two friends were hospitalized for weeks from their injuries.

February 2, 2012—Murder of Ramarley Graham: Ramarley, an 18-year-old Black man, was returning to his family home in the Bronx. Unknown to him, two plainclothes cops followed him, suspecting him of selling marijuana. Ramarley went in his house and upstairs to the bathroom. The two cops pulled their guns, forced their way into his house, followed him up to the bathroom, and shot him dead. When his 58-year-old grandmother asked, "Why did you shoot him?," the cops pointed their guns and threatened to shoot her too. When the cops were arraigned, a crowd of other cops showed up to cheer for them. Later, the cop's indictment was thrown out on a technicality.

July 17, 2014—Murder of Eric Garner: The NYPD murdered 43-year-old Eric Garner in broad daylight on a street in Staten Island. It was caught on camera in horrifying detail as a pack of police pounced on Garner and one cop put Eric in a chokehold and took him down, continuing the chokehold and smashing Garner's face into the concrete—all without any resistance, and even as Eric cried out his last words, "I can't breathe... I can't breathe... I can't breathe." The cops and EMTs on the scene stood there for many minutes and did nothing to help Garner. On December 4, 2014, a grand jury came back with a decision not to indict the cop who had murdered Eric Garner.

November 20, 2014—Murder of Akai Gurley: Just after 11pm, 28-year-old Akai Gurley and a friend left another friend's apartment in the Louis H. Pink Houses in the East New York neighborhood. As soon as they entered the unlit stairwell of the building to walk downstairs, Akai was shot in the chest by an NYPD officer and died soon afterwards. The NYPD and Mayor de Blasio had to admit that Akai Gurley was totally innocent and called this a "tragic accident." But this was the direct result of the NYPD cops carrying out "vertical patrols" in housing projects with guns drawn.


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