On Saturday, Dec. 20, at around 3pm, the sound of police helicopters roared over my block. Three blocks away, a man named Ismaaiyl Brinsley walked up to a parked squad car at the corner of Myrtle and Tompkins, drew his semiautomatic weapon, and fired into the car execution-style. One cop was dead instantly and the other passed at the nearby Woodhull Hospital, where by the evening a phalanx of NYPD vehicles were sitting up and down the street. News vans parked nearby. The air was tense.
The killer announced via the Instagram feed of his ex-girlfriend, who he shot in the stomach in Baltimore early that morning before fleeing to New York, that his intention was to put “wings on pigs.” He wanted to avenge the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner in the most twisted way possible: by murdering two police officers who had nothing to do with their deaths. And so, not only is this crime horrible in its own right, but it only feeds the fire of those who from the very start thought that police brutality is not a problem or a nationwide scourge worth addressing. The injustice is compounded on top of injustice.
No one cheered the deaths of Liu and Ramos, who were murdered in the street for no reason. The family of Michael Brown condemned the attack, and so did Al Sharpton. Violence against cops does not do a damn thing to bring back the lives of fallen citizens who were the victims of brutality. Violence against the police only serves to give ammunition to supporters of the status quo, in addition to the fact that killing ought to be condemned as a general rule. No more carnage. Regardless of your skin color, blood runs the same.
Rest in peace, Michael Brown. Rest in peace, Eric Garner. Rest in peace, Wenjian Liu. Rest in peace, Rafael Ramos.