I am not a fan of Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire Dem-Flipped-GOPer, who rode into the NY mayor's office after Rudy Giuliani could not figure out a way to declare martial law to keep him in office a second longer. But I give Bloomberg a nod for saying what Giuliani never could: NYPD used "excessive force" (an understatement, granted) in firing 50 shots at an unarmed black man about to be married, leaving a strip club bachelor party. The groom died; two others with him are injured.
Here's what CBS News says about why this is remarkable:
For a mayor to question the actions of the officers and defend the shooting victims — while reaching out immediately to the grieving community — sets a decidedly different tone than in the past. Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani was hounded for what some viewed as a slow response to the killing of Amadou Diallo, an unarmed West African immigrant who was shot 19 times in the Bronx by four white officers. They were later acquitted of criminal charges.Diallo was hit 19 times; but cops shot at him 41 times. They should NEVER have been acquitted for his murder. And afterward, Rudy Giuliani told everyone to shut up forever about Diallo's death after 9-11 because "cops proved their worth", which must explain why so many more NYC firefighters died.
Now there's this case:
The gunfire in the current case stemmed from an undercover operation inside the Kalua Cabaret, where seven officers in plain clothes were investigating alleged prostitution and drug use.Uh... alleged prostitution and drug use in a men's club; who knew??? But neither of these explain five cops firing off 50 shots.
And yet more:
"I can tell you that it is to me unacceptable or inexplicable how you can have 50-odd shots fired, but that's up to the investigation to find out what really happened," Bloomberg said at a news conference Monday after meeting with elected officials and community leaders including the Rev. Al Sharpton and Rep. Charles Rangel.It sickened me to hear how fast NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly (a piece of crap once kicked who I wished had stayed gone but some, like John Toomey, in jobs like these just keep recycling into major cities) ran to microphones (after waiting many hours after the killing) to note that two black officers were there with two white and one Hispanic cop.
The groom, Sean Bell, 23, was killed and two of his friends wounded early Saturday after a bachelor party at the strip club. Suspecting that one of the men had a gun, police fired 50 rounds into the vehicle. The men were unarmed.
"There is no evidence that they were doing anything wrong," Bloomberg said.
Earth to Ray: it is NOT better if black officers shoot innocent black men. In fact, it's sad this case comes down to race, but it too often does with help from folks like Kelly.
As for Al Sharpton's involvement in the case - well, it's about as worthwhile a contribution as Jesse Jackson hosting Michael Richards on the radio to discuss racism and the hecklers where Richards went ballistic with the N word and unbelievable anger while Jesse calls for a boycott of the Seinfeld DVDs.
I think the families of these innocently-fired-upon men would do better standing up and speaking for themselves.