A Yankee's Musing

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Law & Order Episode Of NYPD Auxiliary Cop Shooting and Killing Citizens

With regards to ‘These Are Their Stories,’but some Police Officers Say, ‘Not This Time’ an article in the NY Times:

Let me introduce you to some New Yorkers I’ve met. Elba, from the Dominican Republic, teaches people how to drive. Sherry, from China, is a non-Western health professional. John, a generational New Yorker, is a brand new father. Lyn, from English, French, and Abernaki descent, is and has been a teacher for 39 years. Rafael, from Equador, is a single father of two young adult sons who are inseparable. Mario, from Mexico, is a chef and a family man. Mathew, a Connecticut native, goes to college. Anthony, an Italian American, works for the Bloomberg Corp.; and Rose, an Irish grandmother, is a taxi driver. The youngest in this group of New Yorkers is 18, and the oldest is above 60. They each have a story – they represent the NYPD and the City of New York because they are volunteers—they are Auxiliary Police Officers.

There are 4500 of these individuals working in this city right now. They do not get paid. They rarely are recognized for what they do. The volunteer hours they put into this city ranges somewhere over a million a year. They walk the streets, observe and report. They are often first to offer help at an accident. When a child has been lost, or an impaired adult displaced, an auxiliary officer team may be who finds them. If you ask for directions or seek information from a uniformed officer, you might be surprised to discover that the helpful attitude came from one of your neighbors. The Auxiliary Police are a community within the community, one that actually mirrors the diversity of this city in every respect. And all they ask of you is to be respected.

I am surprised that Audrey Davis, a spokeswoman for Law and Order, defends a recent episode as: “These are not real stories…We are not saying an auxiliary cop, in real life, shot someone.” She passes it off as if it is unimportant. But the airing of this show is misleading and disrespectful for, 1) using the murdering auxiliary cop’s name as Nik Rodchenko ( a composite name so closely linked to the two auxiliary cops who were murdered in real life), 2) having the auxiliary cop illegally carrying a gun and discharging it at his neighbors; 3) airing a second episode showing an auxiliary cop in negative role; and 4) being known as a show that takes a serious look at law and order issues, yet has never shown an auxiliary cop in a positive light. This is shameful and certainly makes me, as a concerned citizen and New Yorker, insist that Davis rethink her attitude and realize how deeply this episode insulted a whole community of diverse givers who volunteer their time and their lives and ask her only for a little bit of respect.