Empire Building shoot-out illustrates NYPD violence against civilians

Empowering Weak & Oppressed

Crescent International

Shawwal 10, 1433 2012-08-28

Daily News Analysis

by Crescent International

The NYPD has a track record of excessive surveillance of ethnic and racial minorities, including blacks, Hispanics and Muslims.

New York City,

August 28, 2012, 20:35 EST

On August 24, the New York Police Department (NYPD) had a dramatic shootout with a man in front of the famous Empire State building. Jeffrey Johnson, a disgruntled ex-employee from a local garment store, had shot and killed a co-worker whom he held responsible for his being let-go from employment.

The NYPD cornered Johnson close to New York’s famous landmark and killed him, wounding 9 other bystanders in the cross-fire. Investigative reports have revealed that police fire was responsible in the wounding of all nine civilians. The news has exposed the NYPD to criticism of excessive force and brutality.

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly justified the NYPD’s actions. “When you're told that someone just killed someone around the corner, and five seconds later that person identified as the shooter points the gun at you ... it was the appropriate action to take,” Kelly declared at a press event in midtown Manhattan. Kelly called it “unfortunate” that innocent people were hurt, adding, “Thank God, everybody is going to be all right.”

The NYPD has been accused of brutality and racism by a number of critics. During the Occupy Wall Street movement, police officers were caught on camera beating protestors. The NYPD also has a track record of excessive surveillance of ethnic and racial minorities, including blacks, Hispanics and Muslims. Recently, NYPD officials revealed they had not uncovered a single suspicious person in their extensive surveillance of Muslim Americans on the eastern sea-board since 2006.

This has been the fifth public shooting in over six weeks in the United States since the July 20 shooting in a Colorado movie-theatre.

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