Tag Archives: NYC

Give him a break on ‘stop and frisk’

I want to cut Michael Bloomberg some slack on the grief he is getting over a policy he once endorsed but over which he has since expressed regret.

Yep, that would be “stop and frisk,” a law enforcement policy that Bloomberg favored when he was New York mayor.

He’s now running for president of the United States as a Democrat. He served as NYC mayor as a Republican. Between then and now he declared himself to be an independent.

Whatever, the stop and frisk policy he once endorsed empowered the cops to, um, stop individuals and then search them for, oh, weapons and drugs and other assorted illegal possessions. It was a badly implemented policy, targeting racial minorities and arresting them at rates that far exceeded anything considered reasonable or rational.

Bloomberg has said he’s sorry about the policy. He has owned his mistake. He says he would do things much differently now were he able and has pledged, if elected as president, to lead the charge to end racial injustice in this country.

That is good enough for me.

But not for some Bloomberg critics, who refuse to accept his expressions of regret at face value. They want more, although precisely what they demand is unclear to me.

And, of course, we can look forward — more than likely — to Donald Trump climbing on the bash Bloomberg bandwagon over this policy … never mind that Trump endorsed it, too, but has never said a single word of regret over the manner in which the policy was carried out.

Stop and frisk: let’s hold on

I am still not sure whether Bloomberg is the guy whom Democrats should endorse in the still-developing party presidential primary battle. The issue of stop and frisk, though, is a non-starter.

The man made a mistake. He owns the mistake. He vows to do better. That should be the end of it.

What became of America’s Mayor?

Rudolph Giuliani used to be a revered public figure. He stood tall amid the rubble of Ground Zero in lower Manhattan and rallied a stricken city in the wake of the 9/11 terror attack on the World Trade Center.

Time magazine named him Person of the Year in 2001. It was richly deserved. Giuliani became America’s Mayor.

Then something happened to him. He decided to get involved in national politics. He dressed in drag to spoof something or someone. He ran for the Republican Party presidential nomination in 2008.

Rudy Giuliani has gotten a bit strange. If you saw his shtick at the 2016 Republican National Convention, then you understand my point. If you haven’t seen it, take a look:

His latest gig is as Donald J. Trump’s lawyer, representing the president as he does battle against what he calls the “witch hunt” being conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Giuliani has managed to step all over Trump’s denial about hush money being paid to a porn star; he argues now that the president cannot be subpoenaed or indicted by the special counsel, even if Mueller produces evidence that Trump broke the law.

Giuliani has become a shill. He has behaved in a seriously unattractive manner as he defends the president against Mueller’s investigation in whether Trump obstructed justice or “colluded” with Russians who interfered in our 2016 presidential election.

Honestly, I much prefer the former Rudy Giuliani, the man who faced down terrorists while standing in the rubble.

The “new Rudy” is acting like a clown.

Creeped out by this video

This blog usually doesn’t spend too much time and cyberspace critiquing media coverage, but …

I want to make a brief exception.

TV networks have gone a bit too far in covering the fatal helicopter crash into the East River in New York City. Five passengers died when the chopper crashed into the river, tipping over and trapping the occupants in 39-degree water.

So, what did the cable and broadcast networks do? On the very day of the young people’s deaths they broadcast selfie videos shot by one of them, showing them smiling, laughing, carrying on and giving thumbs-up signs as they were lifting off for what was supposed to be a  joy ride over the city.

It wasn’t. I cannot imagine the horror they felt as they struggled to free themselves from the “safety harnesses” that tethered them to their seats.

I’m open to discussion on this, but for my taste, seeing those smiling faces just as they were about to die saddens me greatly. What’s more, I wonder if it is something I really need to see to appreciate the tragic consequence of this hideous event.

Any thoughts here?

What? No indictment in NYC?

I have just watched a video of a New York City police officer subduing Eric Garner.

Garner was arguing with police that he wasn’t doing what they suspected he was doing. He asked the officers to “leave me alone.” One of the officers then clamped a chokehold on Garner, wrestling him to the ground.

Garner said several times, “I can’t breathe!” The officer didn’t heed the plea. Garner lost consciousness and then died.

A grand jury today returned a no indictment ruling against the officer, Daniel Pantaleo.


I have a simple question: What in the name of God’s Planet Earth was the grand jury thinking?

This is just another case of a white police officer killing a black citizen. Now, I’m not going to probe too deeply into the racial component here — white cop, black civilian. But why didn’t the officer let up on the chokehold after Garner told him repeatedly — repeatedly! — that he couldn’t breathe?

The no-bill here has provoked the predicted demonstrations in New York City. It has prompted even more debate over the state of race relations between law enforcement and the African-American community.

This non-indictment has me puzzled and perplexed, having seen the video evidence of what happened that day.

Based on what I saw on that video, the grand jury surely could have come back with something with which to charge the officer.

Those grand jurors and the district attorney’s office have some serious explaining to do.

I’m waiting. The nation is waiting.