If the NYPD Maces the First Amendment, What Will They Do with Anti-Aircraft Weapons?

The NYPD made the news yesterday twice.

First, for their over-reaction to the Occupy Wall Street protests. In the video above, street cops corral some women with orange mesh, so another cop–in the white shirt–could mace them.

As the NYPD was bullying people for exercising their First Amendment rights, Commissioner Ray Kelly was on 60 Minutes. He started by confirming he was the boss of all 50,000 people the NYPD had working for it (more than the FBI, 60 Minutes helpfully notes).

Pelley: You call it a hierarchical kind of organization. In other words, you’re the boss.

Kelly: That’s correct. That’s the way it works here.

Pelley: And you’ve got 50,000 people working for you.

Kelly: 35,000 uniformed police officers, 15,000 civilian employees. That’s correct.

Kelly went on to boast that the NYPD had the ability to take down a plane.

Pelley: Are you satisfied that you’ve dealt with threats from aircraft, even light planes, model planes, that kind of thing?

Kelly: Well, it’s something that’s on our radar screen. I mean in an extreme situation, you would have some means to take down a plane.

Pelley: Do you mean to say that the NYPD has the means to take down an aircraft?

Kelly: Yes, I prefer not to get into the details but obviously this would be in a very extreme situation.

Pelley: You have the equipment and the training.

Kelly: Yes.

Since Ray Kelly is “the boss” here, I assume he owns the over-reaction to Occupy Wall Street as much as he owns missing Najibullah Zazi and his Imam, who was an NYPD informant. Presumably, too, that means the guys trained to use anti-aircraft weapons have the same itchy trigger finger as the cop shooting mace in the video above.

The visible face of the NYPD–cops macing women in pens–offers reason enough to question the discipline and judgment of at least the supervisors running the department. Yet there’s a secret face of the NYPD, one that spies on Americans and, apparently, trains to shoot down planes, too. Given what we see in the visible face of the NYPD, how can we trust the invisible face to have anti-aircraft weapons?

19 replies
  1. phred says:

    Not to worry EW, the NYPD only intends to shoot down planes flown by uppity women ; )

    I bet Officer Mace is a real peach to the little woman at home, too.

  2. tbob says:

    Really? The NYPD is capable of taking down aircraft? I’m impressed…they must have one helluva long broomstick.

    All I know is the cops and banksters are not your friends.

  3. Toby Wollin says:

    And just as a note of comparison – they behaved in the same exact thuggish manner to a group of bicyclists (and innocent bystanders who just happened to be in the area) during the RNC national convention in 2004. They swept up hundreds of people and incarcerated them in an un-AC’d warehouse in the middle of the summer on the docks. AS I recall, the city was sued and paid some serious money over that.

  4. klynn says:

    They are using retina scanners on the protestors.

    This seems to go along with all your post on the NYPD of late.

    Some of your previous posts on the NYPD would apply to what is happening to the protestors.

  5. klynn says:

    EW, thanks for mentioning the protestors in this post.

    I think it is important that you asked the questions above and tied them to the actions against the protestors.

  6. Abusto says:

    I’m sure the FAA, DoD and DoHS are happy about NYPD expanded capability. Can’t have enough anti-aircraft capability with instant response, no matter the lack of provocation. Get lost on a cross county and find a ground to air missile up your ass. State and City State rights I guess.

  7. matt carmody says:

    If the person using the Mace was wearing a white shirt, then that person is a supervisor in the rank of sergeant or above, so, yeah, the supervisors are setting the example.

  8. matt carmody says:

    Judging from this youtube video and the still picture at the top of this post, the supervisor was a lieutenant.

  9. watercarrier4diogenes says:

    @Toby Wollin: I strongly suspect that there will be some serious payouts over this, too, especially if it gets to a jury and they have to decide damages after watching this video. Only thing missing is the Statue of Liberty in the background…

  10. P J Evans says:

    Digby has a link to a Guardian story saying that the guy with the Mace was also one of those who beat up protesters in 2004. I see legal bills in his future.

  11. Kathryn in MA says:

    I saw that 60 Minutes segment and was left sore amazed. What have we come to? He unleashes a swarm of cop cars to make a public display – to what end? To impress terrorists that NYC is to hot for them, as he claims.

  12. Kathryn in MA says:

    “In the video above, street cops corral some women with orange mesh, so another cop–in the white shirt–could mace them.”
    Wow, if there is intent, not just opportunity in that, i hope decent cops get disgusted and start protesting if only to keep their own integrity.

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