On the day before a grand jury in St. Louis County, Missouri, announced its decision not to bring any criminal charges against Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in connection with officer Wilson's shooting death of an unarmed Black teenager, Michael Brown, in broad daylight, former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (R-New York City) took to NBC News to blame Blacks for police shootings.
During a discussion about whether the lack of diversity in some police departments across America could cause tensions in minority communities, former Mayor Giuliani chose to undercut attempts to address racially-motivated policing by speaking about "Black-on-Black crime."
"The fact is, I find it very disappointing that you're not discussing the fact that 93 per cent. of Blacks in America are killed by other Blacks," former Mayor Giuliani told Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd, adding that, in the discussion about white police officers shooting Black citizens, "We're talking about the exception here. I would like to see the attention paid to that," referring to Black-on-Black crime, "that you are paying to this," referring to white police officer shootings of Blacks -- "and the solutions to that," referring to solutions to Black-on-Black crime.
Former Mayor Giuliani's comments were intended to decrease the focus on police misconduct that unfairly, yet appears to intentionally, target minority communities and low-income communities across the nation. When he was in office, former Mayor Giuliani launched a public campaign to target very low-level crimes that basically criminalised people for being poor. That public campaign, made under the controversial policing theory known as "Broken Windows," still governs how the New York Police Department runs roughshod over minority and low-income communities under the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-New York City). The police commissioner to first serve the administrations of each of former Mayor Giuliani and Mayor de Blasio have been the same : William Bratton.
In the aftermath of the Ferguson grand jury decision, demonstrations have been held in New York City, which have included impromptu marches through the city's streets beginning last Monday night, including disruptions to traffic in and around Times Square, the Holland Tunnel, the FDR Drive, the Manhattan Bridge, the Williamsburg Bridge, the TriBorough Bridge, the Queens Midtown Tunnel, 14th Street, and other major traffic arteries. In the face of these demonstrations, Mayor de Blasio has tried to stay "neural" on Ferguson. One of the few public statements Mayor de Blasio has made indicated that he was "very sad" to see the outcome of the Ferguson grand jury, and that's been pretty much the full extent of his comments about the issue.
Since Mayor de Blasio supports Commissioner Bratton's continued over-policing of communities of color and low-income communities, there isn't much Mayor de Blasio can say to challenge former Mayor Giuliani's derisive comments that shifted blame over racial policing tactics to Black communities, because any criticism Mayor de Blasio might make of former Mayor Giuliani's attitude about policing would likely apply to Commissioner Bratton. What is more, Mayor de Blasio admonished the public from making any attempt to "connect the dots" between homicides committed by police in Ferguson or New York.
Mayor de Blasio's relative silence after the Ferguson grand jury decision has come in the wakes of another NYPD shooting of an unarmed young Black Brooklyn man, Akai Gurley, and a report by The Associated Press, adding credence to the impression that police officers are rarely charged with crimes for shooting innocent people, creating a leadership vacuum in New York City, as the NYPD grapples with the impending grand jury decision about the fatal NYPD chokehold of an unarmed Black Staten Island man, Eric Garner.
Political television reporter Dominic Carter is predicting that it is possible that the Staten Island grand jury will decide not to find probable cause to file criminal charges against NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo, who placed Mr. Garner in the deadly chokehold. Given the possibility that New York City may experience more demonstrations if the Staten Island grand jury fails to indict officer Pantaleo, the NYPD are "very worried" about the impending decision by the Staten Island grand jury.
All this consternation, however, isn't moving Mayor de Blasio to publicly assure New Yorkers that Mr. Garner's surviving relatives will see justice in his case. After six, consecutive days of protests in New York City over the Ferguson grand jury decision, Mayor de Blasio has been "MIA" -- missing in action, according to The Daily Beast.
Mayor de Blasio will travel as far away as Washington, DC, to give the media optics about his concern about Ferguson, but he won't directly speak to his own constituents to guarantee them justice in the Garner case.
Shame on Mayor de Blasio for running away from Ferguson and from Staten Island, especially after he mainly campaigned last year for the mayoralty on a promise to end race-based policing in New York City. A "true progressive" wouldn't skirt his responsibility to completely overhaul the troubled police department, which was his central campaign promise to voters last year.
-- Progress Queens