An NYPD union by the name of “Sergeants Benevolent Association” encouraged its members to join in on its new campaign: “Peek-a-Boo, We See You!” What sounds to be a delightful childhood throwback is actually a malicious attempt to shame the most disadvantaged among New York’s population, in order to create “accountability.”
SBA chief Ed Mullins urged officers to “utilize your smartphones to photograph the homeless lying in our streets,” as well as panhandlers, drug-users, and anyone else reducing the “quality of life” for the rest of us.
It appears the campaign is, in part, a response to the recent uptick of citizen recordings of police encounters (and by “encounters” we mean brutality, corruption, and otherwise unprofessional behavior). After all, SBA vice president Bob Ganley describes it:
“Whenever there's a police encounter you have almost every citizen taking out a cell phone and videoing it and it goes live on every news media that there is.”
The implication is: why are the homeless and other perpetrators of “quality-of-life” abuses free to go unrecorded, when the police are facing the camera’s unforgiving eye?
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"You can't have aggressive panhandling going on in the City of New York, the amount of homeless people that are begging on the streets of the city, people urinating and defecating in places that they shouldn't be. It's not fair to the people that we represent, people that we serve.”
It seems that these NYPD members have forgotten that the homeless are among the people that they serve. They’re not the enemy that the rest of the population has to be shielded from. They’re the most vulnerable members of our own community, and it is shameful to treat them otherwise.
You know whose “quality of life” we should really be looking at right now? The homeless. Because we’re letting them down.
Banner image credit: Twitter @DotPolitics