Unruly minds make odd connections.
News item: Two cops are sitting in their prowl car in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. It’s a chilly December day, but the window is open.
Guy ambles up, leans down a bit. Pulls out a gun. Shoots the men dead.
And this brings to mind… what?
Irving Caesar, the songwriter whose Broadway credits include “No, No Nanette.”
Caesar wrote songs for children, too. One of them was about remembering their names and addresses.
And a line went:
“... if some day, you lose your way
You know just what to do.
Walk up to the kind police man
The very first one you meet…
And simply say
You’ve lost your way
I cannot find my street…”
Walk up to the kind policeman, the very first one you meet. And pull out your silver colored Taurus pistol with the nice caramel colored grips and get off a couple of rounds.
“Giving pigs wings,” is what vigilante Ismaaiyl Brinsley called it on Instagram, some days or hours before he pulled the trigger, bolted for the subway and once on the platform killed himself, saving the citizens of New York the fuss, muss and expense of a trial.
Revenge, he’d said, for the killing by police of Michael Brown in Missouri and Eric Garner in Staten Island.
Two dead cops. Wenjian Liu, 32, a newlywed and Rafael Ramos, 40, a husband and father.
You want to try to explain this stuff to the widows and Ramos’ 13 year old son? There is no way.
You want to try to explain this to the other 50 thousand cops and their support workers in the city?
They need no explanation. They know what happened.
Fifty thousand men and women, equal to the entire population of Binghamton. And every one of them thought and still is thinking the same thing: “That could have been me.” And all 50-thousand of them were right, it could have been.
Walk up to the kind policemen, the very first ones you meet and “avenge” the deaths of two other people you never heard of until the other day, didn’t know, wouldn’t have cared about if you did.
There’s a certain energy that happens after a crime that stuns. Usually, it’s directed toward finding the stunner, arresting him and putting him on trial.
That usually is followed by rivers of speculation about how it could have happened and what to do to prevent repetition.
But this time, we know the shooter and he’s taken care of that first problem by eliminating it and himself.
The speculation is there, but not so much as it might be. We know plenty about Brinsley’s background, his history, his test firing into the abdomen of his girlfriend a day before.
So where does the bottled up public energy go? To finger pointing.
The head of the police union is out there on the streets blaming the people who demonstrated against cops after the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. And he’s out there blaming the mayor.
The demonstrators caused a fracture behind the cozy relations between civilians and the kind policeman?
Wrong. Bad blood between cop and civilian has been there for all time. Everywhere. Every. Where.
It’s going to be a long, cold winter.
I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
© WJR 2014