What Dermot Shea Doesn’t Understand…

Read ARNOLD KRISS’ riv­et­ing arti­cle on NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea.

It is time to rec­og­nize that racial atti­tudes exist in both offi­cers and com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers. Regaining com­mu­ni­ty trust may be the least of this commissioner’s prob­lems. Losing the respect of NYPD’s hard­work­ing offi­cers who require direc­tion and lead­er­ship is bub­bling on the sur­face. Police offi­cers can see through a commissioner’s mean­ing­less polit­i­cal rhetoric.

I am not argu­ing that the NYPD is a racist insti­tu­tion, sim­ply that, since African-American and Hispanic com­mu­ni­ties have suf­fered the brunt of police con­fronta­tions, its enforce­ment poli­cies have been unfair and inef­fec­tive. It is time to hold NYPD’s com­mis­sion­er — not our cops — pri­mar­i­ly account­able for uncon­sti­tu­tion­al and dis­parate enforce­ment poli­cies. Reform starts and ends with him.

Kriss is a Manhattan attor­ney, a for­mer Brooklyn assis­tant dis­trict attor­ney, and NYPD Deputy Commissioner-Trials. He has pros­e­cut­ed a police offi­cer for mur­der, judged and dis­ci­plined offi­cers, and defend­ed them and oth­ers in his crim­i­nal prac­tice.