The death of officer Brian Moore of the NYPD was not an occasion of massive outcry and protest. Al Sharpton didn’t march; outraged editorials did not follow. Outrage is usually in short supply from such sources when the crime victim is a policeman.
The brave young man was shot down in the bloom of his youth by a convicted felon who proudly claimed he is a “hellraiser.” He certainly raised hell by killing a young cop on a dangerous undercover assignment.
Unlike Baltimore, New York neighborhoods did not end up in flames or with riot police on the streets. Stores were not looted for liquor or pharmacies for drugs. What happened to Freddie Gray should never have happened, but neither should the aftermath.
Instead, in New York there was just a long and lonely goodbye for an Irish cop family from Long Island left to mourn their precious son.
For the NYPD it meant another cop added to the over 1,500 names of officers who gave their lives defending the city since the NYPD came into being.
The majority of those names on that list are Irish, as are the names of those who have died in the service of New York's Fire Department. Alas, Brian Moore now joins that tragic list.
In the debate about less policing there is no talk of the countless lives saved by men like Officer Brian Moore who are on the front line against those criminals who prey on the weak and threaten the common good.
There are times when it seems like a very thin long blue line protects society. Recently there has been a move away from the policing methods that brought down crime rates to far lower levels. While the advent of cameras worn by cops is certainly something to be welcomed, the notion of turning back from what has kept neighborhoods so much safer in recent years seems insane.
Ask the people, both black and white, who live in those dangerous neighborhoods what is most important for them and they will answer personal security.
New York has a mayor who displayed antipathy to police from his first day in office. He picked a bad time with three officers shot and killed on his watch and a near mutiny among police officers over his statements.
He also sought to undermine the legacy of former Commissioner Ray Kelly, the most successful big city cop in America, in bringing down crime rates, especially homicide numbers.
It all looks pretty cheap and paltry now given the deaths in action and the latest murder of a young undercover cop.
Surely we need to provide a better balance in our outlook on such dreadful events. Corrupt and trigger happy cops must be dealt with, but the heroic work of so many of them must be highlighted too. Likewise, there are many and profound reasons for black disenchantment with the police in Baltimore, but those concerns must be addressed without rioting.
Officer Brian Moore lies dead, victim of a violent culture so deeply embedded now it is a part of the everyday reality that cops in such neighborhoods are always risking their lives.
We need to remember that next time the police are being demonized.