Following a recent incident here in Toronto, and another in New York City, police officers across North America are asking the public to back off with their criticism of the constabulary.
In Toronto’s Distillery District Wednesday afternoon, a stolen Toyota Corolla was boxed in by Toronto police cruisers. The suspect, 60-year-old Edward Michael Skotnicki, was captured on video revving up the engine in an attempt to make an escape while 4 officers swarmed the vehicle. In response, the officer directly in front of the Corolla pulled his handgun and fired 14 shots into the hood to disable the car.
When video of the shooting hit social media, civilians exploded with rage and concern over how the cop handled the incident. The cop could have hit the suspect, his fellow officers, or innocents in the vicinity of the take down.
Meanwhile, in New York City, ex-tennis star James Blake was tackled outside of a Manhattan hotel by an officer who mistook the man for a suspect accused of selling fraudulently purchased cellphones and defrauding credit cards. He was slammed to the ground and arrested. A video has surfaced showing the aggressive arrest.
Blake and his lawyer are fighting to have officer James Frascatore fired. This isn’t Frascatore’s first time facing scrutiny.
To quash the public’s anger following the video’s release, union representing members of the New York City Police Department declared in a statement that “if you have never struggled with someone who is resisting arrest or who pulled a gun on you when you approached them for breaking a law, then you are not qualified to judge the actions of police officers putting themselves in harm’s way for the public good.”
Read the union’s open letter HERE.
Is the union right? Do civilians overreact to these controversial encounters and point the finger of blame at the police when they have no idea what it’s like to be a police officer? Since the public pays the bills, don’t we have a right to ask any and all questions?