#BlackLivesMatter, a social movement started after the police killings of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, officially condemned the execution-style murder of two NYPD officers over the weekend. According to “The Huffington Post,” Ismaayil Brinsley went to New York after shooting his girlfriend in Maryland and shot the two officers while they sat in their patrol car. After that, he fled into a subway and shot himself.
Police found what they believe is Brinsley’s Instagram account, where he apparently said that he’d be “putting wings on pigs,” in revenge for Garner’s death. “They take 1 of ours, we take 2 of theirs,” the post of a handgun also said.
“HuffPo” got hold of a statement from #BlackLivesMatter, which said:
“An eye for an eye is not our vision of justice. We who have taken to the streets seeking justice and liberation know that we need deep transformation to correct the larger institutional problems of racial profiling, abuse, and violence.”
Another organization dedicated to strengthening the political voice of black people, known as Color of Change, also condemned the murders:
“We condemn any and all forms of violence, including violence perpetrated by and against police officers.”
“HuffPo” reports that Color of Change also urged law enforcement not to react to this with further militarization and violent attempts to suppress protests. But this is good overall, because these groups looking for justice just demonstrated that they’re looking for actual justice and change, not racial preference, the destruction of law enforcement, or anything like that. They’d like to see the cycle of violence broken altogether.
Sadly, the president of NYPD’s largest police union, Pat Lynch, said that protesters were responsible for the police officers’ murders. He said that blood was also on Mayor DeBlasio’s hands for this.
Part of the problem people have is that police officers and entire departments have stood behind both Darren Wilson and Daniel Pantaleo the entire time. While it’s understandable that they would want to stand in solidarity with their own, many (especially those with a deep distrust of police) see it as evidence of corruption, racism, and power-tripping within the larger law enforcement community.
Officers putting out statements along the lines of, “This is what happens when you break the law,” don’t help their cases any, because people hear, “You deserve to die for not submitting to us, immediately and completely.” That may not be what the police are saying, but it is what people are hearing. That can also be said of the officer who put out the t-shirts that say, “Breathe easy. Don’t break the law.” What he thinks he’s saying, and what people are hearing, are two entirely different things.
When anger’s been suppressed for too long, it overflows and erupts like a volcano. The organized groups looking for justice and change are the ones who will have the ability to stop the cycle of violence before it gets even further out of control. #BlackLivesMatter and Color of Change have that influence. Their statements on the NYPD officers’ deaths may be of more help than anybody realizes right now.