January 4, 2014
We were again treated to the spectacle of NYPD officers turning their backs on their mayor. The press, again, fails to properly characterize Commissioner Bratton’s memo to his rank and file. Bratton didn’t plead for decorum. He left it up to his officers. His memo, as reported by the AP, read as follows:
“A hero’s funeral is about grieving, not grievance,” Bratton says in a memo to be read to all commands at roll calls on Saturday, the day Officer Wenjian Liu will be remembered during a wake. “I issue no mandates, and I make no threats of discipline, but I remind you that when you don the uniform of this department, you are bound by the tradition, honor and decency that go with it.”
It is patently obvious that, when given a choice, a preponderance of NYPD officers take their cues from union boss Pat Lynch – not William Bratton.
Nothing can change in New York, or anywhere else for that matter, for as long as control over police doesn’t revert to civilian authorities. Change won’t happen without a movement pushing for it. If a police commissioner with Bratton’s experience and prestige can’t get officers to follow decorum at a funeral, then what else will he be unable to get these same officers to change?