Should any of us be surprised that five NYPD officers have been arrested for illegally schlepping stolen guns into the city from New Jersey? East Coast, big-city police enjoy a unique and toxic combination of power, privilege, and protection from prosecution that ‘little people’ like us can only dream of.
This breeds a culture of corruption, in which NYPD detectives allegedly planted drugs on innocent defendants in order to meet their monthly arrest quotas. And fixed parking tickets for friends and family members.
Don’t expect much outrage from New Yorkers, however: the vast majority of them have accepted this level of corruption since the days of Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall, and they’ve submitted to being defenseless subjects since the passage of the Sullivan Law in 1911. This is not a coincidence: gun control and political corruption have gone hand-in-hand in the Big Apple for exactly 100 years. State Senator Timothy Sullivan, the bill’s main sponsor, was a himself notoriously corrupt Tammany Hall power-broker.
In the wake of yet another NYPD scandal, expect Hizzonor Michael Bloomberg to respond with a flurry of mea-non-culpas and counter-factual counterattacks. He’ll have a hard time blaming this scandal on the ‘loose’ gun laws of other states, however: all of these stolen guns came from New Jersey, where the gun laws are even tougher than New York’s.
Instead of randomly stopping and frisking young Latino and African-American men on the streets in the name of stopping gun violence, maybe the 34,000 uniformed members of the NYPD should start stopping and frisking each other? How many illegal ‘throw-down’ guns, bags of planted drugs, and fixed parking tickets would they find?