Written by Bonnie Walker
The hot girl summer is well behind us now, and heat was definitely felt. Towards the tail-end of of July 2019, NYPD responded to calls of residents gathering around open fire hydrants, frolicking in the refreshing sprays of what’s said to be the nation’s cleanest tap water. It is alleged that during the police check, residents drenched the officers with buckets of the very same water. According to Erica Byfield at New York’s NBC network, politicians and police, alike see the behavior as menacing and a threat to law enforcement within the city. Since then a few more “water wars” have been waged against New York City’s finest, and the opinions on the consequences of such behavior have been as mixed as the culture of the big apple itself.
What some may have considered as some “good clean” fun has now become a raging hot topic. New York legislation has proposed a bill that will render dousing the men and women in uniform with water or any other substance a Class E felony, punishable by up to four years in the pen. Some residents have taken to responding to the proposal of the outrageous bill in their art. Rapper Von Dotta of Harlem, showcases his disregard for the boys in blue in his latest video for “You Shitten Me”, produced by GWIZ.
Police-civilian relations in the U.S. haven’t been exemplary as of late.Some would say a healthy relationship between police forces and the residents of minority communities never existed. The one thing that seems to be concrete, is that the negative press outweighs the good when it comes to civilian interaction with Police officers in America. New York City has the largest police force nationwide. With over 55,000 employees, the NYPD employs nearly 40 thousand uniformed officers. Complete with its own Navy of sorts, and the jurisdiction to operate abroad in countries like London, Germany, and Israel. The force of the NYPD is broad and bold enough to rival many a countries army.
With great power comes great responsibility. It’s time officers of the law do away with the “us versus them” mindset when interacting with civilians. In particular, civilians of lesser socio-economic stature, and specifically those of color. It’s understandable not to want to be soaked on a job for which you didn’t pack a swimsuit. Again, with great power comes great responsibility, shouldn’t those protecting and serving the community work to build a rapport with said community? Finding yet another means to criminalize citizens for non-violent offenses wastes time that could be spent chasing real criminals, it screams IDFWU, louder than Big Sean ever could.