Debunking Nine ‘terrifying facts’ about America’s biggest police force (NYPD)

Recently in a discussion, someone tried to prove something by providing this link:

http://www.salon.com/2012/09/28/nine_terrifying_facts_about_americas_biggest_police_force/

Now Salon is not really a news site, they founder flat out said they are a tabloid site and that alone undermines their credibility just as much as some extremist news sources. The article is also originally from AlterNet, an extremely biased site further rendering it not worth much. Normally I don’t do this but I spent some time going over each of the 9 points in this article showing exactly what is wrong with them. I just felt I had no choice so on with the myth busting.

1 – Bloomberg’s Mythical Army

Currently there are 64 countries with armies with active militaries bigger than the NYPD with China topping the list and the United Arab Emirates having a roughly equivalent number if you count the non-uniformed NYPD personnel. Going just by those in uniform, the NYPD falls between Bulgaria and Rwanda for a total of 79 countries with bigger active armies.

Add in Reserves and Paramilitary, things get more interesting. 88 have more Total Military personnel than the NYPD who again equal the United Arab Emirates, going only by NYPD in uniforms there are 11 more for a total of 99 countries with a bigger Total Military, the NYPD falling between Rwanda and Chad. (FYI Side Note, counting Reserves and Paramilitary, North Korea has the biggest army, the USA is #8 beaten by NK, Vietnam, South Korea, India, China, Russia and Iran in that order.)

The, “4.18 police officers per 1,000 people,” stat, about 109-110 countries have a higher statistic in military personnel per 1,000 people.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_number_of_military_and_paramilitary_personnel

So much for Bloomberg and any fool who believes him. Seventh biggest army in the world my ass.

Further look into the whole structure of the NYPD instead of believing this one article. The full New York Police Department includes many sub departments beyond Intelligence and Counter Terrorism such as Auxiliaries, Traffic, TARU (basically technical and computer related), Crime Scene Units, Evidence Collection Teams, School police and the most dreaded of all….

THE MOVIE AND TELEVISION UNIT!

Yes you read that right, there is a whole department devoted to assisting films/TV shows get made in New York City. Scary isn’t it? Fear the movie cops. Sarcastic smile

2 – Police in foreign countries

This point comes across as if the NYPD is the first to do something like this. Before buying into the hype, do some personal research and discover this has been true not only of intelligence agencies worldwide but also of various countries’ police.

One example in recent years, an EU proposal to allow something like cross-policing between countries and how it could affect Britain.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1297621/Ministers-hand-Big-Brother-powers-EU-police.html

The European Investigation Order (EIO) from around 2010 allows for police of one country to go into another and pursue investigations. Just look up information on this to see various positives yet also concerns about it. Then also factor in one of the changes with globalization is that some criminals operate within more than one country, this has also been known for some time and led to joint investigations and task forces.

I am not justifying what the NYPD Intelligence does or EIO proposes but the panic I keep hearing as if they are the first to do what they do is completely bogus. I also wonder why no one has ever mentioned Interpol, they have been in operation since 1923 so as a long time international police force, why did the NYPD choose the CIA over Interpol? Why does the EU consider the EIO instead of allowing Interpol to act as international assistance when law enforcement needs it? I hardly ever hear of Interpol anymore and honestly am curious why they would not be somehow involved in cross country police activities including the need for intelligence. A couple of things to consider instead of panic. Thinking smile

3 – Police spying on, well, anyone and fabricating results

Police corruption has existed for a long time, again not justifying but we have to remember it happens. We also have to remember it is not just to Muslims or just by the NYPD or any police force.

We live in an age where any of the following and possibly more can be spying on us:

  • Intelligence agencies
  • Hackers from large groups to the person in their mom’s basement who is bored
  • Perverts looking for jollies
  • Corporations looking for ways to sell things to us

They have various ways to do it and we have hardly complained about it for a long time. So why this narrow focus for outcry now? Because it is the government/police, sorry not buying it, whatever argument could be put in here I will bet can also be put onto any of the short list of 4 I mentioned. Because it targets a specific group based on religions/ethnicity/whatever, again sorry but the short list of 4 can also do the same for their own reasons. I just do not see any reason why a big fuss is kicked up about one group doing what other groups have done, we know they do it and have never, I mean NEVER, done any large outcry over it when honestly there should have been.

Fabricating results? Sigh, once again the short list I put up, when has there ever not been one of those fabricating results plus I and others know for a fact that there have been plenty of times those critical of not only the NYPD but some other police forces have themselves fabricated results. Indeed, we live in a time when police critics will overinflate their ‘results’ and hype up rare incidents using language to claim these incidents happen more often than they do and/or they will happen to you in a scare tactic to sway you to think and behave differently. At the same time, these critics will overlook other but equally valid issues that deserve attention all to push a narrow minded agenda.

My point: Don’t buy into any critic’s view quickly, thoroughly look over the subject matter yourself including what the critics do not want you to see. Critics and watchers need watching themselves else they can and have become just as corrupt as those they look for. Shifty

4 – Targeting activists or civilian grown spies?

This whole point is not about activists, it is clearly focused on people with ties to the website called Cop Watch. Problem is this site is clearly designed with putting the police under a microscope without once ever validating the credentials of those who run the site. Indeed, you cannot even find public information on who the heck is involved so how can I trust these are not fakes/altered and people doing this are not grinding an axe over some unmentioned incident{s} in their lives?

This one mentioned Diego Ibañez. Look him up, he came to New York City for the Occupy protest a couple of years ago, was a community organizer from Utah.

http://www.metro.us/newyork/news/local/2011/10/13/update-occupy-wall-street-sunrise-showdown-in-zuccotti-park-cleanup-called-off/

During his time in NYC, he got arrested for trespassing.

http://www.amny.com/urbanite-1.812039/3-occupy-wall-streeters-arrested-during-hunger-strike-vow-to-stay-1.3366154

He even has a public LinkedIn profile where he states he aspires to be funny someday.

http://www.linkedin.com/in/dibanez

If your goal is to be a comedian, how can you be taken seriously on exposing police corruption and/or wrongdoing? How do I know it is not all a joke? Undermines your own actions thus questioning anything you do. Why also did he not go back to Utah?

Next mentioned is Christina Gonzalez who became known for not following courtroom procedure, apparently she did not know much about it and her lawyer was not present when an incident happened between her and Judge John Wilson back in May, 2012 so I credit part of the blame on whatever caused her lawyer to miss the court date and the judge overreacting a bit. Still responding to a judge’s reaction by screaming, “white racist pig,” only digs you in deeper. Even worse, there is a video of her interaction once with police here:

http://gothamist.com/2012/12/19/video_extremely_courteous_cop_indul.php

One thing I have to say, this woman is not the first I have met who LOVES to call government officials ‘servant’ and I do not mean just police. She calls herself an activist for fairness and such but doesn’t mind being derogatory towards government workers using language to show how elitist she is. At 6:23, she freely points her finger to whoever she wants but 34 minutes after that freaks out at the same behavior being done to her, a sure sign of more elitism. Then she goes off on a rant, if you listen to her words, she makes piles of assumptions with no basis, I would have to make a separate blog to cover all her mistakes. Finally, in the article she admits the whole thing was triggered by the arrest of her partner but none of those cops are proven to have anything to do with that yet she vents on them like it is all their fault and they have nothing but time on their hands to make her the priority case in a city of over 8 million.

Speaking of her partner, fellow activist and Occupier among other things, here’s a bit on Matthew Swaye.

http://gothamist.com/2011/11/30/video_watch_ray_kelly_receive_the_2.php

#1 thing that stands out, Swaye claims to be speaking for every single white, heterosexual male, given that I am one myself, I am offended at Swaye for replacing my own voice with his, clearly Swaye doesn’t mind violating my rights by presuming to speak for me or what my positions are on anything but this is a common tactic by elitists like him, I have run into it frequently. Assuming other people’s rights and voices replacing their voices with those of the too vocal few is not fighting for civil liberties, it actually violates them so like others who came before him, Swaye is a violator of people’s rights, perhaps it is time for protests outside places Swaye and others like him frequent for violating my and probably other people’s rights that his kind does without a thought, care or shred of respect due to their elitist arrogance. I have seen all I need to see about this guy.

Three people with elitist, arrogant, holier than thou attitudes among other things I would have to address separately and I am supposed to feel sorry for them? Eye rolling smile Next item.

5. Surveilled by everyone

Apparently whoever wrote this point has ignored how for years surveillance has gone on by not only government agencies but everyone. I reference the 4 groups I mentioned in point 3 as an example. Again, why waste time fussing about one surveillance program when so many others have been doing it for years and no one complained? This doesn’t even count as a separate point. Confused smile

6. Brutality is not limited to the police

Civilians have been plenty brutal and still are to this day. I am not justifying police brutality but we really need to stop holding police to a higher standard than we hold ourselves to. I also still wait for the really good and long time coming articles on civilian brutality.

As an example, as silly as it sounds, look up stories on real life superheroes, people who actually dress up as fictional characters to patrol places in real life. The relevant items here to look for are, in these note how many stories you will see referenced on civilian brutality then ask why no one ever covers this anymore.

Media has for a long time sensationalized police brutality with the ‘assistance’ of those who film cops but no one seems to care much about civilians attacking other civilians anymore. You can also see this in comments and real life conversations, I have heard since the 1980s, before the Internet we are using existed, people actually brag about how little they care about other human beings. Today it is even on a larger scale, just look at how many care so little about what is happening in Syria now.

When people stop caring, society breaks down and you will get brutality whether it is from the police, civilians or some other source such as how forms of entertainment like mixed martial arts and fight clubs have become popular.

Put some blame where it belongs, on the lower standard by which people treat each other. Thinking smile

7. Quotas evolved from lower taxes

Quotas are actually not designed to be racist, whoever came up with that did not go over it well. Quotas started popping up when people from all walks of life, not just one segment, pushed to lower their taxes while crying for someone else to pay more. Any government like a corporation needs income to survive (pay workers’ salaries, provide services, fix/replace equipment, etc.). When taxes get lowered, all kinds of special gimmicks are used to come up with replacement money for what taxes used to cover. Fines for sugary drinks, fines for cigarettes, fines for whatever, once the new fines are in place then come the quotas to bring in the revenue that was lost through lower taxes.

It is that simple. Nothing racist about it. Eye rolling smile

8. Everyone thinks they are above the law in some way

Yet another point where some people want to hold police to a standard civilians do not want to be held to. There lies the real problem, the notion that a civilian can be held to a lesser standard. Once you start allowing people to lower their standards, it has an effect on others that contributes to a decline in all parts of society even police.

I have and still know civilians who think they can do anything they want even if it breaks the law. Indeed part of American culture in some minds is the notion that laws are optional, mere guidelines that can be ignored on a whim. But once that attitude gets out of control it will encourage such behavior in others. Be honest, how can a police officer do their job if the civilian is held to a lesser standard?

I referenced in point 4 how Gonzalez thought she had the freedom to point at whoever she wanted but did not like being pointed at. That attitude seems minor but I have seen it used by civilians on bigger issues like speeding, drugs, rape (one person’s definition of consensual sex is another’s of rape), etc. When civilians want too much freedom, it has a backlash effect actually encouraging it in our law enforcement services in order for them to fight crime. There are more people who think they are above the law than police, that is not how it should be, no one should think they are above it.

Some of the stories told here, I have known civilians who do the exact same thing and ‘get away with it’ plus certain stories leave out or ignore relevant information. Thinking smile

9. Minor arrests vs. Real violations

I will never have much concern for those like Rae Abileah who get arrested for something minor and people want to make a big stink over it because I save my concern for those with worse problems and wonder why no one cares about them.

Some examples include:

  • SSG Ahmed Kousay Altaie, captured in Iraq in 2006, later executed.
  • SGT Bowe Robert Bergdahl, captured in Afghanistan in 2009, still a POW.
  • Pastor Saeed Abedini, Iranian-American captured in Iran in 2012 while working on orphanages and imprisoned.
  • Amir Mirza Hekmati, arrested in Iran during 2011 for visiting relatives, given a death sentence that was later overturned, awaiting a new trial with the possibility of death.
  • Robert Levinson, arrested in Iran during 2007 investigating a smuggling case, the second longest held American hostage in history.

There was a time we rated the severity of a person’s arrest and crime as a measurement of how much sympathy they should get. Today, I get silly people telling me to care about someone given a minor arrest they will probably get a fine for compared to someone wrongfully arrested and held for years. Eye rolling smile

Well, there it is, 9 reasons that article is full of nonsense and lies, some things I just did not have the time to write up because it would go on too long. Never just believe some of these stories that get put out based on sensationalism.

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