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Top cop’s responsibility


To the editor:

The attorney for Rodney King, John Burris, made an excellent point which I found to be true in my career in the NYPD. That is, with these special, aggressive, crime-fighting units like Memphis’ recently disbanded Scorpion unit, the numbers game tends to lead these cops to be over aggressive and treat everyone, especially young black men, as potential arrests.  

This often means that they see a very minor offense as a chance to get another “bag guy” into handcuffs and get one more arrest number. And God help the young man for defying or challenging the aggressive police officers, or for even complaining about excessive force as Tyre Nichols did.  

Why haven’t we heard any criticism of Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis? This Scorpion unit was one that she and other Memphis police supervisors praised and touted as an excellent crime-fighting unit. Davis has run this police department for 20 months, so she must have known about the criticism of some cops in Scorpion, but apparently nothing was done to rein in its members' alleged excessive force. The top boss has to take some responsibility and pay a price for her (or his) irresponsible leadership if violent killings by police officers can be reduced or eliminated.    

Michael J. Gorman


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  • reenjoe

    Spot on. Unfortunately, the crime spike that Covid gave rise to, created a conservative narrative that "soft on crime" policies were at fault rather than the social disconnection the pandemic caused. Look at the hysteria surrounding bail reform with zero empirical evidence proving a direct relationship to rising crime. City leaders and police chiefs across the country responded to the "soft on crime" critique by taking aggressive measures like Scorpion. Pounds of "cure" have never been as effective as ounces of "prevention". When disingenuous self-promoters like Lee Zeldin and Ron DeSantis start blaming "woke" policies for crime, it is incumbent upon liberal leaders to point out that the high crime rates in Red States like Florida. As well as the very real fear parents have that their children will be gunned down by someone who was able to get their hands on a gun due to the loose gun laws promoted by the Zeldin's and DeSantis' of the country.

    Wednesday, February 8 Report this