A group of NYPD officers could be in trouble after a Facebook group called “No More West Indian Day Detail,” slammed Brooklyn’s annual Labor Day Parade by hurling racial slurs at its attendees. Even if you’re not a New Yorker you’re probably familiar with the event thanks to a viral video showing some of NYPD’s finest having a little too much fun of the freaky and sneaky dance groove variety. You may have also read that there were three shootings at the parade this year, and that the police seized over a dozen firearms.
The Parade is certainly a mixed bag, but the NYPD Facebook group objecting to it attracted over 1200 members and 70 pages of posts calling parade-goers “savages,” “filth,” and “animals,” and the parade itself “ethnic cleansing,” that should be “moved to the zoo.”
Of course the maliciously racist comments, as damning things posted on the internet often do, have since gone poof into cyberspace. Fortunately, The New York Times obtained a copy of the page and reported that its content likely violates NYPD rules prohibiting officers from “discourteous or disrespectful remarks” about race or ethnicity. How can we be sure that these posters are NYPD officers and not just racist trolls?
The New York Times reports:
It is impossible to say with certainty whether those quoted are the people they claim to be. But a comparison by The Times of the names of some of the more than 150 people who posted comments on the page with city employee listings showed that more than 60 percent matched the names of police officers…Of course, some people do circumvent Facebook’s rule on identification.
The Times contacted one officer who’s name appeared on particularly nasty comment:
“I say have the parade one more year,” wrote a commenter who identified himself as Dan Rodney, “and when they all gather drop a bomb and wipe them all out.”
Rodney claimed that it wasn’t him who posted that comment and he “leaves his phone around” a lot.
On the legitimate side of things, perhaps the officers’ cries for help should be heeded, for the safety of both the police force and the parade attendees. Doesn’t it stand to reason that if the event was not out of control these officers would be happy to get the overtime and save their racism for another occasion? One comment on the group page read:
“We were widely outnumbered. It was an eerie feeling knowing we could be overrun at any moment.”
Nothing about the NYPD surprises me anymore and even the sensible comments have a racial tinge to them. Personally, I am still traumatized from getting stuck for a few hours in the 2004 West Indian Day Parade. In a moment of immeasurable idiocy, I tried to drive through it to meet a friend on the other side. I greatly underestimated how much mayhem Brooklyn would offer that day and ended up sitting in my car for so long that I considering curling up in the backseat and taking a nap. I am not West Indian, do not like crowds, and it just wasn’t my thing. I did not, however, feel at all unsafe.
Do you think these officers will face consequences? Is it possible that the West Indian Day parade is out of control? Have you attended the parade in the past? Sound off in the comments!