Friday, September 7, 2012



NYPD Officers on Franklin Avenue in The Bronx after shooting during armed robbery

(Sept. 7, 2012, The Bronx, NYC)  It’s as sad as it is sickening and, for the men and women of the NYPD it is disheartening, insulting, offensive and overtly wrought with bias.  

Another tragic episode transpired here in the small hours of this morning when a 20 year old bodega employee was fatally shot by an Officer responding to the call of an “armed robbery in progress”.  A grainy surveillance video captures the defining moment when the fleeing bodega worker, Reynaldo Cuevas, ran from the store behind his uncle who owns the Aneurys Deli on Franklin Avenue at East 169th Street.  As Cuevas quickly exited the store, he collided, head first into an Officer who had drawn his service weapon shortly after arriving on the scene.  Presently the shooting is being designated as an “accidental discharge” by NYPD.  Police Commissioner Ray Kelly commented, “The tragedy here, of course, is that Mr. Cuevas was shot, but I see nothing wrong with the procedure.”

The fact of the matter is that there was nothing wrong with the procedure, nothing at all.  One of the first four responding Officers peered into the bodega window and observed a man pointing a gun at two other men on the floor.  Clearly this was an armed robbery in progress, a potential hostage situation and a volatile scenario that could have resulting in others present being injured or killed.  No excuses or explanations negate the tragic loss of an innocent young man’s life.  That goes without saying.  However, the torrent of vicious, vile and venomous criticism being leveled at the Officers involved and the entire NYPD speaks volumes about the knee jerk reaction, rush to judgment large segments of New Yorker’s make whenever there is what they perceive as a “controversial” shooting by a member of NYPD.

This is just the latest episode in what has been a long hot bloody summer in our City with a disturbing increase in gun violence throughout the Boroughs.  This too is the most recent opportunity for all the critics and activists, pundits, “community leaders” (whatever the hell that means), race-baiting bigots who stand ever at the ready to pounce on NYPD.  Just two weeks ago a disgruntled fired employee of a Midtown accessory company gunned down his former boss on 33rd Street and he himself was shot and killed in front of the Empire State Building.  The hue and cry was initially the predictably ignorant rhetoric accusing the Officers involved of “excessive force” and as being “trigger happy”.   That was just not the case once numerous video clips that captured the dramatic scene were made public.

(Just for the record and the sake of truth and clarity, one would be hard pressed to identify any current of former member of NYPD who would honestly say they are or were ever “trigger happy”.  Typically, an Officer involved in a shooting incident especially when that Officer’s actions result in a death is forever a changed soul and will replay the memories of that event over and over for the rest of their lives.)

If anything, given the myriad challenges of policing an urban environment as diverse, disparate, congested, crowded and often hostile in certain Precincts, as is New York City, NYPD should be commended and appreciated for their collective restraint and individual professionalism by all the millions who live, work or visit here.  Unfortunately, that is not the case. 


There are two sides to every controversial issue, two perspectives in every civilian encounter with a Police Officer.  There are two usually divergent perceptions of every sudden Police action as has been proven time and again by the various, often conflicting accounts provided by “eye witnesses”.  Sadly in some of our most troubled neighborhoods, in the roughest sectors, the darkest streets, the almost alien and hostile landscape that emerges on these blocks in the small hours of the morning when the pulse of the rest of the City is quietly beating at a restful pace, the residents are more prone to see what they want to see, to call virtually any Police action “excessive”, and haul out the old worn ugly charges of a Police force out of control. 

But it is not that way.

Decisions are made in a fraction of a fraction of a second; a nanosecond.  Adrenaline, excitement, the sense of duty, danger and one’s own morality and mortality collide and repel against each other within the minute confines of a synapse.  Training, experience and reflex interact on a sub or even unconscious level and it is there that choices are determined.  The confrontation becomes all consuming; the desire to “do the right thing” somehow remains tantamount amid the confusion of the chase.

Armed or unarmed, who is it that I chase, I confront, is running into me?  What danger does he pose to the innocent bystander, my partners and me?  The heartbeat escalates more than the physical exertion warrants.  Everything appears in the crystal clarity of slow motion yet the reality of the moment allows for no “replay.”  This is it.  I will see my wife or husband and children again, I will do the best I can but; why won’t he stop, why does he keep coming?  The throat burns from the rapid breath and frantic, emphatic yelling yet, the perp keeps running at a pace that appears otherworldly, still fights savagely or simply, inexplicably refuses a direct order from a Cop.  All this in the blink of an eye, in that one single heartbeat, lives can change forever or end.  Only those who’ve lived through such a lethal synapse know its depth, its heat and its longevity.


The Crime Scene Unit had not yet completed their grim tasks before this particular event was being labeled a “scandal”.  We’ve come to expect it if not accept it.

What is truly scandalous is the attitudes and opinions of our teeming City when it comes to the performance of their Police Department.  The public wants to feel “safe” yet is willing, sometimes eager, to render harsh, misinformed judgments on those they count on to keep them safe.  The irony is stupendous, the hypocrisy used to be just puzzling; now it is just a sorry fact of life.

The public can wonder where the “us against them” attitude they assign to NYPD comes from.  They can speculate on its origins and ramifications when, in actuality, it is in large part the direct result of an organization of hard working men and women grown weary of the criticism, the lack of respect – not appreciation – that would be far too much to ask for.  The lack of respect is what cuts the deepest.

The population of this City dials 911 over 40,000 times a day on average with the NYPD responding to approximately 30,000 of those calls.  People call, NYPD responds.  People call about all manner of complaint, conflict, disruption, disaster, illness, injury, altercation, suspicion, and crime in progress.  Every time Police Officers respond to a call no matter how innocuous, silly or harmless as it may appear they are acutely aware that no call, no call is “routine”.  Any situation can erupt and turn volatile; every call has the potential to be out of the ordinary. 

But, the complaining public continues to call and will continue to call because they know they will get help, assistance, a response.  Members of NYPD will always be there for the City.  Every now and then the City should be there for them.


Links (Some updated Sept. 8, 2012)

Copyright The Brooding Cynyx 2012 © All Rights Reserved



Former President Bill Clinton delivers powerful
speech at DNC strongly endorsing Obama for re-election


(Sept 6, 2012, Charlotte, NC) It was Bill Clinton at his oratorical best.  Perhaps the best political speaker this country has seen in a generation, in his trademark way, accomplished more to further his Party’s cause in just over 45 minutes than the Obama campaign has in months.  He did what only he could do; he laid out in simple understandable terms the details of some of the most pressing issues weighing on voters’ minds.  He did it with grace, humor, and authority; the authority he commands as the last successful, accomplished and widely recognized as the most effective President in decades. 

While out of necessity, shame, embarrassment and political desperation the GOP ran from their last standard bearer, the disastrously inept former President George W. Bush, conversely, the Democratic Party embraced and celebrated their favorite son here tonight.  Bill Clinton conducted a veritable clinic in wide scale retail politics before a national viewing audience estimated to be upwards of 33 million citizens. 

Point by point he masterfully dissembled the incoherent tripe spewed by Romney/Ryan while assembling a cogent, logical reasonable case for the merits of reelecting President Obama and Vice President Biden.  Clinton engaged the audience with his easy manner and delivered a concise informative tutorial on issues ranging from the tax code, health care reform, immigration, education, and made a powerful argument for the ideology of developing and implementing policies aimed towards the greater good.  At the GOP convention in Tampa virtually every speaker including imbecilic Mitt Romney espoused the failed Republican ideology that champions the notion that the most successful in our society should be rewarded.  This horribly misguided notion was first introduced by addled Ronald Reagan in 1980 and was simplistically yet deceptively touted as “trickle-down economics”.  The underpinning of that particular approach was that “a rising tide lifts all boats”.  Prior to being chosen by Reagan to be his Vice Presidential running mate, George H. W. Bush had mocked Reagan’s plan as “Voodoo economics” and it certainly proved to be a curse on the middle class.   It has become painfully obvious that if elected Romney/Ryan intend to resurrect that very same approach to the economy at a time it can ill afford it.

President Obama came into Office facing more challenges than any of his modern era predecessors since Franklin Roosevelt.  The economic woes were staggering, the financial industry was collapsing, banks were not loaning money, the automotive industry and its many related enterprises comprising its supply chain were about to go bankrupt, home foreclosures were epidemic, jobs were vanishing at a head spinning rate, and that large segment of our population loosely defined as the “middle class” found themselves under crippling pressures.  By virtually every independent, objective non-partisan appraisal, those profound problems were the direct result of the policies of the George W. Bush administration, just the latest version of the only playbook the Republicans ever read.

One of the most humble, gracious comments Bill Clinton made was when he discussed his work with “Both President Bush’s” and his inherent “inability” to “hate” his political adversaries.  Surely if any former President would be justified in despising his adversaries and critics, especially the Republican lead sham impeachment in 1999, it is Clinton.  But he is not constructed that way; he has far more character and integrity than his abysmal judgment regarding his private life while in Office indicates.  His larger message was that no real governing, no actual legislating, policy making or any of the people’s business will ever be conducted unless the venom is extracted from the viciously partisan discourse that has come to define the paralysis in Washington DC, in the corridors of Congress and behind committee room doors.

President Clinton clearly articulated the stark contrasts between President Obama’s Administration and a hypothetical Romney Administration.   Hopefully most among that huge television audience were paying attention.  We have the most at stake in this election the outcome of which has the potential to alter our lives in very dramatic, profoundly negative ways.


Copyright The Brooding Cynyx 2012 © All Rights Reserved