New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is defending his police department after two police cars drove into a mob of rioters.
During the incident, people threw traffic cones and other items at a police SUV and moved a barricade in front of it. A second police SUV arrived and drove slowly through the crowd, while the first moved forward a higher speed, sending people sprawling but not causing any serious injuries. According to NBC News, the police SUV was hit with rocks, bottles, and a burning trash bag, and officers were concerned that they might run someone over if they backed up.
“It is inappropriate for protesters to surround a police vehicle and threaten police officers,” de Blasio said. “That’s wrong on its face…. If a police officer is in that situation, they have to get out of that situation.”
De Blasio also pointed out that the cops “didn’t start the situation,” the group of people converging on the police car did.
In my opinion, he is 100% right. When a mob of people surrounds a person’s car, what is the person supposed to do? The person has the right to get out of the mob of people, and driving into the mob is the only way to do that. Each person has the right to freedom of movement. By taking away the cops’ freedom of movement, the rioters caused the conflict. They were in the wrong. Throwing things at and threatening the cops makes them even more in the wrong.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has the wrong take on the situation. She tweeted the following:
How is the mayor’s absolutely correct take on this situation “unacceptable”? Ocasio-Cortez is wrong to say that running SUVs into crowds “should never, ever be normalized.” It does matter who does it and why. If someone ran their car into a crowd of people who were just standing there and not aggressing against anyone, then yes, that would be wrong. But in this case, the crowd of people aggressed against the cops by blocking their way, thereby violating their right to freedom of movement. When someone violates your rights, you have a right to fight back. The NYPD officers in this case acted in self-defense. There’s nothing wrong with “normalizing” their actions, because they did nothing wrong. Whether someone is aggressing or acting in self-defense absolutely matters, and it is disturbing that a member of the House of Representatives thinks it doesn’t.