Bratton Worries About Anti-Police Violence Returning To 1970s Levels


The assassination of two New York police officers Saturday as they sat in their patrol cars outside a Brooklyn housing project has conjured up memories of one of the city’s darkest eras, when New York was ripped apart by race riots and a campaign of anti-police violence, says the New York Daily News. Police Commissioner William Bratton, said the tension and divide, which exploded after a Staten Island grand jury declined to indict a white officer for killing an unarmed black father of six, has brought back deja vu of “where we were 40-some-odd years ago.”

Twelve cops were killed by gunfire in 1971. In the decade that followed, another 52 officers were killed by gunfire, and another 201 wounded. The early 1970s were a tumultuous time for the city and a bloody time for its police force. Protests over the Vietnam War and racial discrimination raged. Community anger sometimes boiled over into violence. In some cases, cops were explicitly targeted. “The difference between now and then is that the protests are not against the Vietnam War, and they’re not generally pro-civil rights, but the protests are specifically against the police,” said Candace McCoy of John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “So, in many ways, it would make the police feel even more under attack than the felt in the 1970s.”

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