A century before pants-wetting billionaire Michael Bloomberg carried out his one-man war against the Second Amendment, another powerful and spoiled New Yorker desired to make the world safe for himself… and his armed bodyguards. Timothy Sullivan helped ram through the Sullivan Act which bares his name, killing the practical ability of New Yorkers to defend themselves in 1911.
More than a century has since passed, and there is no legal gun culture to speak of in New York City and in surrounding areas.
As a result, most of the recruits for the NYPD have little to no experience with firearms when they enter the police academy, and receive precious little training while they are there. They are then released on crowded public streets with less practical experience with firearms than many Boy Scouts, and the problem of their horrific lack of training is compounded by officers being issued handguns with extra heavy trigger pulls, which makes it even more difficult to aim and fire their handguns accurately, reducing their confidence in their competence even more.
It is this institutionalized incompetence with firearms that has led to a near endless string of “accidental” (negligent) shootings by NYPD officers who simply are not competent to be armed in public.
Akai Gurley is the latest example of that incompetence, shot and killed by a rookie NYPD cop who never should have been issued a gun.
A panicked rookie cop in a pitch-black housing project stairwell killed an unarmed man with a single gunshot to the chest as the officer fumbled around in the darkness with a flashlight and a handgun.
The fatal shooting, which officials described as a tragic accident, happened during a vertical patrol late Thursday — months after the superintendent of the Brooklyn development asked NYCHA to fix the stairwell lights.
But it wasn’t until Friday morning — hours after Akai Gurley was killed — that workers finally replaced the lights at the Pink Houses in Brooklyn.
The helpless girlfriend of 28-year-old Gurley, 28, recounted watching him die in a puddle of blood after the routine police patrol turned into a horror show
This was not an accident.
This was entirely predictable institutionalized incompetence that the NYPD and city government has known about for years, but which they are unwilling to fix because of cost.
Unfortunately, it is cheaper for the City of New York to continue to deliver sub-standard training to officers with no prior experience with firearms, and issue them weapons that they can’t shoot well, increasing the possibility of shooting innocent people, than it is to spend the extra money to train officers to an actual level of real competence and issue them weapons with a reasonable trigger pull used by almost every other police force in the nation.
Since the NYPD refuses to give their officers the firearms training or the equipment that their job really requires, it would be far better to disarm the majority of officers, and spend their limited budget on training some fraction of the force to a level of actual competence. In this way, every third, fourth, or fifth officer who carries a firearm can be adequately trained, and the number of innocent victims of NYPD firearm incompetence might be reduced.
This is, of course, a pipe-dream.
Even though NYPD officers routinely admit that they don’t have the firearm training that they desperately need, they’d rather be armed and incompetent with a firearm than face the threat of armed criminals with only a taser in hand.
Because of this, we’ll continue to see poorly-trained NYPD officers shooting the wrong people until the cost of lawsuits becomes too high for the city to bear and they are forced to raise the level of training for officers.