NYC Public Advocate On Killing Of NYPD Cop And NYPD Killing Of Bangladeshi Teen: “This Isn’t Public Safety For Anyone”

By New York City Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams

Photos: The Daily Star\YouTube Screenshots

NEW YORK: After a week in which NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller was shot and killed during a traffic stop, Win Rozario was killed during a 911 mental health response, and other high-profile violence has impacted the city, amNewYork has published an op-ed from New York City Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams which speaks to the grief and pain in the city amid these high-profile acts of violence, and to the shared humanity of all victims and families.  As he writes, “When each of these New Yorkers is laid to rest, the grief on the faces of their families will look the same… This isn’t public safety, for anyone.”

In the piece, entitled Turning pain into purpose and progress, not more of the same, the Public Advocate addresses the anger that comes from grief and frustration at these cycles of violence, writing “Anger is not only a reasonable response to these cycles of pain and to individual incidents, it’s expected. We have to then channel that anger, though, in the right direction – preventing future pain… Instead, too often, people assign inappropriate blame and motivation, misusing a moment of tragedy. They pick their villains and attack their values.”

The piece speaks to the misplaced blame and damaging rhetoric in response to these tragedies, saying: “Before attacking or assigning blame to community leaders who take this apparently ‘too-progressive’ or nuanced view, many of whom represent the Black and Brown neighborhoods most impacted by violence, I ask people to think about the pain they feel, that they see in the families of the fallen. I can promise you – we have seen that pain as well, too many times, at too many funerals. We’ve seen more grieving mothers than we can ever forget, and I would ask people who are primed to assign baseless blame not to forget that.”

Slain NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller

Instead, the Public Advocate argues for a focus on the goal of preventing future violence by getting guns off the streets, improving economic circumstances, providing mental health support, and expanding restorative programs that prevent recidivism.

He closes, “I could never tell someone how to grieve – a deeply personal feeling in the sea of trauma that overtakes entire communities. But I can say that I have seen the benefits of turning pain into purpose, and purpose into progress. And maybe, a week like this can pull us out of our entrenched, reactionary positions so that we can instead address the entrenched systems that have led to far too many funerals.”

Slain Bangladeshi teen Wim Rozario

Read the full op-ed online here.

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