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100 Blacks in Law Enforcement

Central Park And The Law Enforcement Blame

        As the circumstances surrounding the Central Park multiple sexual assaults incident continues to unravel the city at large must examine the totality of the incident.  This act was clearly a violation of the rights of women and should not be taken lightly.  Our organization held a press conference to respond to this public display of violating a woman’s body.  We believe blame falls in several areas.

        The first area of blame concerns the young men who participated in this assault.  There is no rationalization or reason that they can offer to excuse themselves from what had occurred.  Each person who participated should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.  This statement should not be interpreted as an arrest “free for all” where the police department arrest any and all men of color who were in Central Park. We as law enforcement officers know that historically when men of color commit crimes the police agencies are not satisfied until everyone present is arrested.  In other cases they settle for a symbolic arrest to appease the public.

        The second area of blame falls on any police officer who was approached and told about this incident and did not respond accordingly.  That officer’s action should be reviewed and if the action escalates to them personally witnessing a criminal act then they should be terminated.  If their act is interpreted as only hearing of an act and not taking proper police action then their punishment should fit the punishment that fits department guidelines.  We must realize that personally witnessing a criminal act and not taking police actions is different from hearing of one and not taking timely police action.  The level of embarrassment we feel by the act should not compel us to give an officer a punishment that does not fit the crime.

        The third level of blame must fall on City Hall.  This was clearly displayed in the statements of one of the young men that was arrested.  After he was released he stated that he was just having fun.  His statement is telling.  What happened in six years that young men now interpret fun as violating young women’s bodies?  The answer may be in the way we have treated young men during the previous six years.  The manners in which we have made many of them feel outcast and ostracized from the city at large.  They have not prospered from the city’s success nor have they benefited from the stock market boom.

         Many of the city’s inner youth have been criminalized and treated as outcasts.  The administration has implemented many draconian cuts to youth services.  It only leads one to believe that when you treat people like animals they act like animals.

         We must all remember that the reflection of a society can be interpreted in the behavior of its youth.  The action of these young adults sends a sad message of New York City’s society. 


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