Threat of 70s Style Violence in New York after Police Officers Shot Dead; Racial Tensions Rise as Gunman Claims Killings Are Revenge for the Deaths of Black Men

Daily Mail (London), December 22, 2014 | Go to article overview

Threat of 70s Style Violence in New York after Police Officers Shot Dead; Racial Tensions Rise as Gunman Claims Killings Are Revenge for the Deaths of Black Men


Byline: From Vanessa Allen in London and Daniel Bates in New York

SIMMERING racial tensions yesterday threatened to tip New York back into the violence of the 1970s following the brutal murders of two policemen.

Gunman Ismaaiyl Brinsley 'assassinated' the men after boasting of his plans to kill officers, apparently in protest over police involvement in the deaths of two unarmed black men.

In a series of vile internet messages, the 28-year-old bragged 'I'm Putting Wings On Pigs Today' just three hours before the execution-style killings in Brooklyn.

President Barack Obama yesterday said there could be 'no justification' for the killings and appealed for Americans to 'reject violence' following nationwide demonstrations against police.

But in New York there were fears that police could come under further attack following months of angry protests.

Some used the internet to call for more officers to be killed and Brinsley's Twitter hashtag #ShootThePolice was soon trending on the site.

One man even threatened to carry out a copycat double murder, posting on his Instagram page: 'Kill em all. I'm on the way to NY now 2 more going down tomorrow.' The shootings were a grisly reminder of the New York of 40 years ago when spiralling crime earned it a reputation as one of the West's most dangerous cities.

Members of the New York Police Department (NYPD) were regularly killed on duty - with seven dying in 1971 alone and 30 others injured.

At the height of its notoriety, the city's Times Square was a playground for prostitutes and drug dealers, Brooklyn was offlimits to non-whites and the Big Apple's violence and sleaze was portrayed in films like Mean Streets and Taxi Driver.

But New York has worked for decades to combat crime and murder rates have now tumbled to a 20-year low. In fact the murders of the two officers was the first fatal shooting of an NYPD officer since 2011.

The city has become a focus for protests since July when a NYPD officer killed father-of-six Eric Garner after putting him in an apparent chokehold while trying to arrest him.

Tensions were heightened last month when a jury decided the officer should not be charged, prompting rallies last week in which protesters' chants included 'What do we want? Dead cops'. The Manhattan Bridge was later daubed with a huge graffiti mural saying 'NYPD kills'.

Earlier this month the Sergeants Benev-olent Association in New York olent Association in New York reportedly circulated a memo to officers warning of a 'credible threat to shoot an on-duty police officer' and warned them to wear bulletproof vests and carry their guns and ammunition at all times. …

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