Graffiti is pretty much a way of life in New York City. I grew up in an era when the Big Apple’s subway system was depicted with spray-painted initials, names, and proclamations sprawled along the walls of the cars. The rest of the city wasn’t much better. Hell, one of my favorite movies of the ’80s involved a brother trying to get justice for his injured sibling by embarrassing a corrupt mayor by ruining his anti-graffiti campaign.
In fact, Graffiti has been accepted as an actual art form.
However, putting it up where it’s not welcome is still a crime, as it should be. It seems that some graffiti artists may be willing to try and kill for their art, too. It didn’t work out well for one alleged artist, though.
Officers shot and critically injured a man who had fired at officers and sprayed graffiti in the Bronx, the NYPD said early Sunday.
The sergeant and two officers were on patrol near E. 153rd Street and Third Avenue in the Melrose around 12:35 a.m. Sunday when they saw two men spray-painting graffiti at 677 Elton Ave., Chief of Department Terence Monahan said during an early morning press conference.
The officers stopped their vehicle and approached the two men, who then fled on foot, Monahan said.
After a brief chase, one of the officers was able to grab one of the suspects, but as the officers struggled to arrest him, the suspect pulled out a semi-automatic handgun and fired at least three times at the officers, Monahan said.
Now, I get that New York isn’t a fan of graffiti and that a conviction can land someone in prison, but to try and shoot officers over it? That seems a little excessive.
However, that also seems to be what part of the current wave of violence actually is.
I’ve spoken with a number of police officers who note that in their jurisdictions, much of the violence they’ve seen is gang-related, but a fair bit of it is people who interrupt other crimes and get shot for it. Usually, this was described as property crimes such as theft, but graffiti may well fall into the same category.
It’s more evidence that during the lockdown, people lost their ever-loving minds. I mean, trying to shoot cops because of some graffiti? It just seems pretty extreme under the circumstances.
Of course, this is an accused graffiti artist, just to be clear. We also don’t know if the suspect had warrants out for his arrest. It’s possible that he was wanted for far more than painting some graffiti and figured it was worth the risk.
Pro-tip: It’s not.
Anyway, now the suspect is in critical condition and may not actually live to see trial for his graffiti painting, much less taking a few shots at police officers. But, you know what they say. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. If you’re going to vandalize private property, you have to expect to potentially get caught doing it. Trying to kill cops isn’t part of that game, though. If you do it, you’ll end up just like this dipstick.
For the record, the officers were wearing body cams and that footage is being reviewed, which will give us a better picture of what transpired.