Subway attack shows once again why anti-police policies put us all at risk

AP Photo/Seth Wenig

This week’s violent attack by a subway shooter and would-be bomber in Brooklyn wounded 29 people, including 10 who were shot, and terrorized an entire city for more than a day. Apart from the human suffering, the political after-effects of that tragedy is emblematic of the dramatic change to the anti-police mood that set in across the nation after the George Floyd killing in Minneapolis in May of 2020. 

No longer do we hear demands to “defund the police,” or see riots and demonstrations against the police in most major cities. The cries in New York City to “Keep the NYPD out of the Subway” are being replaced by cries for more policing, including cops placed at every subway station and on every subway train. The demands to defund metropolitan police departments — which, in New York City’s case, led to the NYPD’s budget being slashed by nearly $1 billion, dismissed as not a true defunding by progressives like Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.)— are no longer heard, except, perhaps, from a few far-left irredentist anti-cop voices. 

Most telling has been the reaction of New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a former NYPD captain who often spoke out against what he described as racism in the police department. In fact, earlier this year, Mayor Adams justified his attempt to sidestep the city’s anti-nepotism laws in order to hire his brother as a member of his security detail, by stating that he needed to be safeguarded from “white supremacist” violence

Yet it turned out that this week’s accused subway attacker, Frank James, is a bitter anti-white and anti-Hispanic racist whose social media rants included a meme beseeching “O black Jesus kill all the whiteys.” Not only that, he also is a hater of many fellow Blacks — including Mayor Adams, who James accused of being “just a carbon copy of the person who made you a slave” and of being “there to serve these motherf——rs.” The discovery of James’s messages initially resulted in the NYPD having to increase the mayor’s security detail to protect him — not from “white supremacists” but from an African-American racist who is accused of firing 33 shots and throwing smoke bombs in a crowded subway car while carrying a bag reportedly containing multiple explosives and a hatchet. 

Ironically, a day after James’s alleged subway attack, the mayor’s response to two nights of violence in the city by turning his ire on Black Lives Matter advocates. “Where are all those who stated ‘Black lives matter’?” Adams asked. “Do an analysis of who was killed or shot last night. I was up all night speaking to my commanders in the Bronx, in Brooklyn. The victims were black. … The lives of these black children that are dying every night matter. We can’t be hypocrites!”

How unfortunate that it took a violent crime wave, one that has victimized thousands of Americans of all races, including many children, and a violent attack that wounded subway riders of all races and ages, to bring many officials and politicians to their senses. It is time to stop viewing society’s ills through a flawed racial prism — and, especially, to end the mindless attacks on the men and women in blue.

Peter King was the U.S. representative of New York’s 2nd and 3rd congressional districts for 28 years, including serving as chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security. Follow him on Twitter @RepPeteKing.

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Black Lives Matter BLM Brooklyn Brooklyn subway shooting Eric Adams Frank James George Floyd New York City NYPD Peter King

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