The Orwellianly-named NYPD Policeman's Benevolent Association today came forward with official comments about the incident of unprovoked police brutality that resulted in the murder of Eric Garner last month. Amazingly, President Patrick Lynch -- backed by a squad of troglodytes reminiscent of the Goombas from the Mario Bros. movie (1993) -- does not attribute blame for Mr. Garner's wrongful death to the officers who assaulted him, stood on his body, choked him, and gradually asphyxiated him to death. Instead, Swinemaster Lynch blames anti-police rhetoric, which he says leads people to brazenly resist arrest when the boys and blue decide to shake them down for no good reason.
It was due to a horrible infection by anti-cop ideology that Eric Garner, in the description of Big Pig Lynch, "resisted" arrest instead of graciously submitting like a properly-trained model citizen.
The suggestion that it was anti-cop rhetoric, and not escalation of force, that caused Eric Garner's death is so stupid that it doesn't warrant any discussion. Of course it is wrong to say that something indirect and abstract like rhetoric could have killed a man, especially when video evidence clearly shows that a gang of professional thugs attacked Eric Garner when he was vulnerable and unarmed and minding his own business.
But in a way, the NYPD Goombas are actually right. Remember that fundamental lesson from psychology: For a person who is suffering from delusions, there can be no question about whether the delusions are real -- for the sufferer, they are as real as anything, and their effects are concretely observed. The same goes for the NYPD's paranoid delusion about society's hatred of cops leading people to become martyrs for the cause of resisting a petty arrest. It doesn't matter whether anti-cop rhetoric is actually the cause of Eric Garner's murder. All that matters is that the police believe it.
This illustrates the crucial role played by paranoia in horrifyingly violent and racist organizations like the NYPD. Because the police believe that they are under siege by an anti-cop society, they act as if they are being attacked from all sides. This causes the cops to lash out, which consequently stirs up anti-cop sentiment, which reinforces the cops' ideological belief that anti-cop sentiment is to blame.
Unfortunately, I am skeptical that knowing the psychological workings of things like police brutality can do anything to effect any change. Big city police departments like the NYPD have budgets in the billions, and are better armed than many countries' armies. Police operate behind a blue code of silence that makes any protocol decision an inherently top-down, authoritarian procedure. But alas, I suppose we can take refuge in the fact that these things are at least somewhat interesting. And now, if you'll pardon me, I was just about to finish chewing my own thumb off.