The New York Times profiles Ismaaiyl Brinsley, the man who killed two New York City police officers last month. His short life (he died at 28) was “a series of disappointments,” the Times says. He was a difficult teenager who was passed around from home to home and an adult who could make nothing work, not even an attempt on his own life at a former girlfriend's house. Everyone seemed to betray him, including friends who pistol-whipped and robbed him last year and a girlfriend who dumped him.
Talks with people who knew him show that he was not an ardent anti-police activist, as some of his friends were. He was nursing no grudge against the police in Brooklyn, site of his killings. He was no stone-cold criminal; his 20 arrests were mostly for minor crimes, even though they prevented him again and again from getting a job. He struggled with depression but had no history of hallucinations or other forms of psychosis. Conclusion: Brinsley “seemed to be a grandstander at the end of his tether, homeless, jobless and hopeless.”