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Finally appropriate outrage over comments


Dec 17, 2004
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NYC mayoral candidate Ferrer is still trying to "explain" earlier comments about a terrible police shooting at

stopping the flop after the flip

After so many instances of watching a political firestorm with phony outrage over offensive comments, here is a rare example of actual and justified complaints. Here we have a generally left wing New York City mayoral candidate who was trying to appeal to more moderate voters by seeming to be on their side concerning a controversial police action.

The problem was, this was not a typical issue where a person could easily straddle. A. Diallo was shot 41 times in the vestibule outside of his dwelling. The police claim he was reaching for a gun, while the evidence eventually told that he wasn't armed, and only had a wallet.

The case raised troubling questions of police insensitivity, misconduct, and the general state of police-community relations in many black and low-income areas.

The officers were accused of crimes, and ultimately acquited. Whether you thought the whole incident was a terrible mistake of officers who had good intentions, or a wreckless act that was criminal, became important. It indicated your perception of the problem.

It's fine to be on one or the other side. I am on the side that says that the man's color cost him his life, and that a white person in a nicer neighborhood would probably be alive today. The actual incident should not have been tried as a crime because there wasn't any evidence of bad behavior. The problem is with the police force, and the society at large that would give disparate treatment to individuals in such a way.

This is the opinion I believe of Mr. Ferrer, and he tried to communicate to a Police audience that he understood the realities of policing. The fact that on any night, it could reasonably be expected , you might not live through it. In this particular case a terrible mistake was made, but the hyper-alertness the officers exhibited surely saved their lives many times before that.

People in minority communities viewed the incident totally differently, and wanted criminal sanctions.

Politicians can't have it both ways. It was either a mistake or a crime.

The weasal way out is to "respect the jury system".

Mr. Ferrer was trying to find a middle ground to retain minority votes while signaling to others that he was a moderate on such issues.

The outcry of his attempted maneuver was swift and just.

Mr. Ferrer should pick a firm side now, and stick with it.

If he refuses, he will have demonstrated his inability to govern in such a diverse city.

Nonetheless, this time, the media, and partisan reaction was appropriate.

This was not Trent Lott making a meaningless statement.

This was not Robert Bryd waxing poetic.

This was not Lawrence Summers being an academic.

This was a politician seeking votes by appealing to both sides.

Craig Farmer

making the word "liberal" safe again!


DP Veteran
Feb 4, 2005
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Saint Paul, MN
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Craigfarmer, I can't recall, but why did the police officers get acquitted?
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