|A 1994 book, which helps describe the very people who helped elect Bill de Blasio|
Brooklyn Bounce: The True-Life Adventures of a Good Cop in a Bad Precinct
Poss, who worked as a cop for more than a half a decade, jumps right into describing the black undertow phenomenon, with the early pages of Brooklyn Bounce delineating a world few of us see (save in the defiant face of Bill de Blasio, who owes his election to these very people):
I worked in the ghetto. For six and a half years I put on a uniform, a nightstick, and gun... and patrolled the streets. I was part of a mostly white precinct, policing a predominantly black and Hispanic community. I was one of two accusing white faces staring out the window of a blue-and-white Chevy or Chrysler on the midnight tour. Everyone we saw was a felon, future-felon, or victim. I was one of New York's finest.The black undertow effect, powerfully articulated by a man who was tasked with upholding the white man's law in area long abandoned by those same people.
The precinct I worked in was Brooklyn's 75th, known for its record-breaking homicide, felony, and drug arrests. We were one of the precincts that boosted the city's murder rate. Statistically, were were off the fucking scale.
The "7-5" is 5.6 miles square miles of pot-holed streets, standing foundations, crack houses, and housing projects. It is a community marked by yellow and red-fronted bodegas with tin awning and flashing lights, their windows plastered with beer and malt liquor signs in English and Spanish; by take-out restaurants, where bullet-proof glass divides patrons from employees; and by entire blocks of burned out buildings....
The 2012 New York City Police Department Murder Report... what do you notice?
But most of all, East New York is a place haunted by a better, more prosperous past. You can see it in the architecture of the abandoned buildings inhabited by crack heads. It's apparent in the disrepair of post-WWII row houses, fenced in by chain-link trimmed with razor wire. And it's revealed in a history that dates back before the Civil War, when there were hopes that this remote section of farm and pasture land would one day rival the growing metropolis of New York City. In East New York, what was will always better that what is, and, most likely, what will be. (p. 1-2)
|Not a whole lot of white murder suspects in New York City in 2012...|
I've been spit on by little kids.
Cursed out by teenage mothers.
Been called "cracker" by criminals.
And every night - every fucking night- I've gotten those long stares, filled with challenge and hate, by the very people I'm sworn to protect. How can you respect or protect people who hate you? Who hate your very presence.
What do you want to know about racial tension in the ghetto? East New York is mostly African-American and Hispanic. The majority of cops on patrol there are white. What more do you need to know? We are divided by skin color, economics, and lifestyle.
The police in the 7-5 are an occupying force, far removed from its residents.
We are the white faces in the blue-and-white cars. We are the outsiders, the interlopers, and the authority that is not always fair or benign. You might get smacked for copping an attitude when an officer pulls your car over and tosses (searches) it for a gun. You might get shot for reaching too quickly toward the glove box for your registration. You might get called a nigger, hamster, skell, bone, or scumbag just for hanging out in front of your own house.
The 2011 New York City Police Department Murder Report... what do you notice?
Night after night I've gone into homes of people who have the least in our society. I've gone into their living rooms, bathrooms, and bedrooms. I've seen the shabbiness, the cheapness, the hopelessness of their lives. I've seen it all and it's vile.
In their own homes, they tell us detailed stories while displaying their wounds. They show us their grief, anger, and shame. Oddly, it doesn't make them more human because most of us in the 7-5 have seen it too often. For us there is no story, no grief, no wound that is not included in the Penal Law. Every horror, tragedy, and indignity matches the numbered paragraphs and its subdivisions the Penal Code.
As ghetto cops we bear witness to the worst imaginable crimes: knowing that most are committed by black males between the ages of 15 to 25. Thousands of crimes and hundreds of arrests - all age 15 to 25. If you're shot in the ghetto, the odds say that a black male between 15 and 25 pulled the trigger. Yes, black, mostly black, but also could be P.R. (Puerto Rican), Columbian, or Dominican. These are the facts.
Every cop wants to go home at the end of their tour. It's always better to be safe than sorry. You're a fucking criminal until the cops knows differently.
If you're a black male between 15 and 25, cops come down on you, hard. They curse you. Harass you. Maybe even hit you. In our eyes you're a potential felon. You look like a felon. Maybe you'll do a crime in the future. Maybe you won't. You may be an honest decent human being. The statistics say that you probably are - most 15 to 25 year olds aren't out doing crimes. But when you're a cop, it genuinely seems otherwise. The statistics say there's a good chance.
Wait a second... not a whole lot of white murder suspects in 2011 either!
For eight hours and thirty-five minutes a day each tour inherits the squalor and violence. Even the dead and the crime scenes are part of our domain. We are the ones who witness and chronicle the daily terrors of the ghetto, working against the tide by force and presence. And seeing hope only at the end of the commute home to a very different kind of ownership.
So how can Blacks and Hispanics respect the authority that does not respect them? Nor act fairly and justly on their behalf? What faith can they put in a system that preaches innocence, but assumes guilt? The same system created by a society that makes them, and other minorities, recipients of contemptuous neglect.
The results: fear on both sides, hate on both sides, and guns on both sides. What more do you need to know? That's the reality.
It's bigger than just one cop in the ghetto. it's bigger than an entire police department.
The hatred, suspicion, bigotry, and contempt is embedded in minds so deep that nothing can dislodge it.
But don't you dare judge the ghetto cop. If you're white and living in the suburbs, don't judge him before looking into your own heart and examining your own fears.
Whatever chatter you have ready for a cocktail party, bar, or water cooler, you are not on the street in the ghetto. You aren't a part of it, and you hope with every fiber of you should that you never take that wrong turn that puts you there.
If you're black and living anywhere, don't you judge the ghetto cop before examining your own shame. If you're black, honest, and hard-working, what secret shame do you possess at every news broadcast or every turn of a newspaper's page? What secret prayer of "please, don't make him African-American," do you repeat silently to yourself?
All the antecedents, theories, history, well-reasoned rules of decency, and politically correct New York Times editorial aren't worth shit on the street. History is past tense, theories may be wrong, and the editorial writers do not live in the ghetto. Everything on the street is immediate. (p. 164-167)Don't judge the ghetto cop... he's the only person keeping alive the flame of civilization that will go out once white people completely vacate an area. With de Blasio in charge of New York City, we will see this eventuality unfold in America's great city.
The scenario Poss described in East New York will overwhelm all boroughs of the Big Apple.