By Michael Moriarty
As many of my readers may know, I lived for 30 years in Manhattan. Recent police violence in New York – two incidents in one month – has me worried. Are the New York Police getting a "little nervous"?
Are they being badly trained? Or simply taught to use "deadly force" first and ask questions later? Are the calls for "gun laws" really going to make the police less "nervous" or "volatile"?
Have police officers in possession of firearms become as dangerous to the American population as civilian Americans in possession of firearms?
After this incident at the Empire State Building and that of the summary killing by police with 12 shots of a knife-wielding suspect in Times Square, it is becoming more and more a "troubling question."
The previous report I've cited is from the United Kingdom.
"… perhaps all by police bullets."
Beyond the eventual killing of the shooter, nine people in the vicinity of the confrontation were wounded: four women, five men.
Is this "peripheral damage" easily remedied by more police target practice?
Well… the two police officers involved admit to firing 16 rounds.
Nine innocent bystanders were hit.
Nine out of 16 rounds?
So, if you're standing in the vicinity of a police shooting, there's 9/16ths or 56.25% chance of getting shot or wounded.
Why is that?
Are the police trained to shoot at bystanders who may or may not be accomplices in the shooting?
56.25 % of hits on targets other than the shooter himself? This does not sound entirely like an accident. Are the New York Police trained to back off bystanders by firing at them?
After this incident, one might think so.
So far, none of the bystanders were mortally wounded. Most, as far as I can tell, were shot, and/or wounded by bullet fragments in the legs.
There must, and I assume, there will be an inquiry.
Let us assume that because of the traditionally "gun-carrying" America, the "right to bear arms" possessed by U.S. citizens, the police are nervous, frightened and more than willing to fire at not only a man pointing a firearm at them but also at surrounding civilians who are not pointing a firearm at them.
Then again, it may just be the case of two simple patrolmen not having enough practice on the police firing range.
Nine bystanders hit!
It is now corroborated by NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly that all nine civilian victims were wounded by police gunfire. Possibly by "fragments of bullets."
According to CNN: Three victims suffered gunshot wounds, while the remaining six were hit by fragments.
Not nine but three were wounded by direct hit from police firearms. "Collateral damage" is how a police spokesman described the additional victims.
The head of the New York Police Department has defended his force's decision to shoot a knife-wielding man 12 times during broad daylight in Times Square, despite the man's family claiming it was excessive.
What is Commissioner Ray Kelly's defense for shooting a knife-wielding man?
Officers followed the department's procedural rules!
According to some reports, the police demanded that Darius Kennedy, 51, drop the knife and he refused.
However, members of the Kennedy family questioned police judgment:
Mr. Kennedy's family questioned why the police had opened fire so many times.
Caroline Jones, his sister, said: "They could have Tasered him; they could have shot him in the leg just to bring him down instead of killing my brother like that. It wasn't three rounds; it was like 12 to 15 rounds of bullets. I mean, they killed him like he was an animal."
Are these police "precautions"? Or are they a prelude of things to come in America?
Commissioner Kelly said that the officers were not carrying a stun gun or Taser, as they call it. As far as I know, Canadian police carry Tasers with them at all times.
Why are the New York Police armed with nothing but "deadly force"?
And why kill Mr. Kennedy, when they could have done what officers "randomly" did in the Empire State shootings, fire at his legs?
Why not just disable him if, as photos corroborate, all he had was a knife?
What do these questionably justified and increasingly radical police tactics and behaviors amount to? Two incidents in one month? Why are they possibly a sign of things to come?
Some Americans are expecting a Second Civil War if Barack Obama is reelected.
Jon Voight is not the only one to be worried.
The summary executions of suspected American citizens in Barack Obama's New York remind me of the assassination of Osama bin Laden. Certainly and without a doubt, all three of the dead, from Osama to Darius Kennedy to Jeffrey Johnson were guilty of crimes, from mass murder on 9/11 to murder at the Empire State Building to waving around a knife in Times Square.
However, do nine innocent bystanders have to be hospitalized by police action and the suspect murdered in cold blood when he could have been disabled by the very shots to the legs that felled at least three of the bystanders in the Empire State Building shootout?
Is the NYPD simply trigger-happy?
Or have they been instructed to escalate the freedoms of law enforcement to include summary and increasingly questionable executions?
Could this be the beginning of an American Police State?
The certain provocateur of a Second American Civil War?
And state terrorism? A policy to instill increasing fear of not only the police but any government agency that bears arms, weapons of any kind and a growing carte blanche to kill?
I am so grateful that I had the courage, over 15 years ago, to leave my homes in both New York City and upper New York State and seek resident status in Canada. It wasn't without a major emotional and physical cost as I surrendered to my alcoholism, figuring that I didn't have much to live for anymore.
However, with the invaluable help of Alcoholics Anonymous and the surroundings of Canadian wisdom throughout my experience in Canada, I am now eight years sober and my life extended by 5½ years. Five years longer than my friends and physicians expected after my heart failure in January 2007.
As I ponder Life's "Perfection"… and I do mean "Perfection"… as I look down from Canada on my former homeland, America, and watch it sinking into "the toilet"?
These shootings by the New York Police Department, the killing of Darius Kennedy being a summary execution without benefit of trial or jury?
As a child of Law and Order, as both Michael Moriarty and Ben Stone, I simultaneously grieve for the increasingly insane plight of New Yorkers.
I ponder and, yes, "muse" on just how unnecessary was the killing of Darius Kennedy with 12 shots to his body.
There's a Law and Order episode there. However, Law and Order, Dick Wolf's original series, is no longer on the air.
Is Law and Order dying in New York City?
"Reckless disregard for human life" and "manslaughter" (as far as I know) are still viable charges in the New York State and City of New York penal codes.
Two armed and uniformed men? Versus a black man armed only with a knife?
Over 15 years ago, I was drunk with my fiancée in Halifax and we were being arrested for public intoxication and disorderly conduct. During the arrest, I called one of the officers a "nigger." My fiancée and I spent one night in the drunk tank Weeks later, a very well-dressed and impressively sophisticated black man introduced himself to me in a Halifax bar. He said he'd met me once before while in uniform.
I said: "Oh, my God! You were the cop?! I'm so sorry, sir … I can't tell you how ashamed I am to have said something like that to you!!"
He simply said: "It was not your best night, Mr. Moriarty."
God bless Canada and Canadian law enforcement. And may God still have His Place, His Wit and Wisdom in the hearts of what is left of the New York Police Department.
However, if the NYPD are preparing themselves for a Civil War to defend the policies of Barack Obama and the Obama Nation? May God have mercy on all of America.
Furthermore, given the United Nations' possible participation in a Second American Civil War and its support for Barack Obama and the Obama Nation?
May God have mercy on the entire human race.
Michael Moriarty is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor who starred in the landmark television series Law and Order from 1990 to 1994. His recent film and TV credits include The Yellow Wallpaper, 12 Hours to Live, Santa Baby and Deadly Skies. Contact Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org.