To The Editor:
As we head toward a new year, I wanted to reflect for a moment on a division that threatens to hurt our city.
New Yorkers are reeling from the horrific assassination of two police officers, which comes on the heels of weeks of protests after the Staten Island grand jury’s decision not to indict in a police killing of an unarmed civilian. Now is the time to reaffirm our beliefs about fairness and pay respect to the lives so unfairly lost, and then continue a thoughtful conversation about police and community relations.
Our city lost two dedicated and honorable public servants with the cold blooded assassination of Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu this weekend. We have heard from many officers that they feel unsupported by their elected officials and many of their neighbors. This is truly unfortunate, because despite all the criticisms about inequities in our justice system, New Yorkers know that the overwhelming majority of our police officers serve with great honor and respect for those they protect.
The person responsible for the assassination appears to have been a mentally unstable individual. Those peacefully calling for reforms should not be blamed for his actions.
Those protesters are expressing a legitimate frustration about racial bias in our criminal justice system. As policy makers, it is our responsibility to root out and eliminate the application of our laws that unfairly discriminate based on race, poverty, or any factor other than the merits and the truth.
At the same time, we need to tone down the angry rhetoric and name-calling on all sides of these issues.
We mourn the recent tragic loss of life because every New Yorker’s life matters. And it is my hope that we will continue the honest dialogue that has begun, free from violence and demagoguery, in 2015.
City Council District 4