The New York I know and love is not represented by Pat Lynch’s angry words. It’s not a place of political rhetoric and division. The New York I know and love is a melting pot and a place of acceptance. In this city we join together in solidarity in the wake of tragedy, despite differences of political opinion.
I have never truly felt afraid in the city, even alone, even at times when and in places where I maybe should—until recently.
The hate coming from Lynch’s NYPD union in response to recent delicate situations, from Mayor de Balsio's very honest and true remarks regarding the coming-of-age need to coach his black son on how to handle himself with police, up to and including the shooting of two NYPD police officers by a mentally unstable young man who shot his ex-girlfriend in Maryland and traveled to New York to "put wings on pigs" is astonishing. The NYPD waging war on the citizens of New York City is the absolute last thing we need. Lynch's angry finger-pointing is scary and upsetting, just as anyone plotting to travel from another city to murder our police is incredibly scary and upsetting. In ten years I've never been so disheartened and sad for my city and for progress as I am now.
As a citizen and longtime New York City resident it was absolutely chilling to see the police turn their backs on de Blasio the way they did on Saturday night at Woodhull Hospital. We're all accountable for violence towards one another (yes, that means even the police). Citizens should remember that police deserve respect and to be thanked for the job they do for us every day. Police should remember that the public is allowed to criticize peacefully. If the Mayor should step down then so, too, should Pat Lynch.
I love this city. I stand with the Mayor, and I stand with those calling for police reform. I also stand with all of the truly good police officers out there who risk their own lives to make ours safer.
And I’m hopeful.
I'm hopeful that the blaming and politicking will stop, and that citizens, police and elected officials will join together in the coming days to move forward in peace. I’m hopeful that we’ll see the New York I know and love stand together strong—protesters, police and elected officials—to warn outsiders with violent intentions not to enter our city, to warn citizens inside the city against any act of violence, and to work together to stamp out racism and corruption within the system and throughout our great city.