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.
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.
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.