Kenny, get your gun, and other musings
NEVILLE MITCHELL | 2/8/2013, 12:39 p.m.
Johnson had the temerity to say that a police officer must actually explain to an assistant district attorney the facts of what happened. Johnson's new position came to light came from documents submitted in Floyd v. the City of New York et al., a class-action lawsuit pending in Federal District Court challenging as unconstitutional the NYPD's stop-and-frisk program. Newsflash: Stop-and-frisk as practiced by the NYPD is unconstitutional. Always was, is, and always will be. I believe the court will so find.
Upon hearing of Johnson's decision, there was howling from City Hall and the carpet ripped as his honor walked across the floor barefoot. Crime will increase, he bellowed. In lockstep, One Police Plaza's media machine started revving up
They need to understand what my 7-year-old gets. You must think about how you think. If they did, they would appreciate that Johnson took a step toward better justice for many New Yorkers. It is much easier to weed out trash--here I am talking about the message and not the messenger--if an officer has to explain why he stopped an individual to a discerning assistant district attorney. This assumes, of course, that the assistant can tell when a police officer is not truthful.
Mind you, I'm a frequent critic of Johnson. He still has work to do regarding his staff of assistants. He could begin by making sure he has prosecutors who understand the Bronx and its people and who know when something doesn't pass the smell test. Too many of them are blond, rosy-cheeked, still moist behind the ears and without a smidgen of real-world experience. Further and immediately, he may want to put his best people on the prosecution of Richard Haste for the killing of Ramarley Graham. The assistant district attorney currently prosecuting Haste famously lost the Amadou Diallo case. I'm just saying.
Metacognition also means that giving Boss his gun back--even if he is about to retire, as I suspect--reopens a wound and reinforces what many believe about Kelly. He is the gatekeeper of a system that says if you are Black and male in this city, your very existence hangs precariously at the end of an asp, the barrel of a gun and the whim of the bearers of these implements. Some say he aspires to walk on the very same carpet as hizzoner. I say the department's failures reflect leadership or lack thereof. Kelly must go. It go so!
Neville Mitchell is an attorney and a candidate to represent Bronx District 12 on the City Council.