Last night at the corner of Midwood Street and Flatbush Avenue I saw a tall black police officer standing, watching, eyes on the alert though the evening.
It was a welcome site. Who knows what happened in the later hours? But as that officer was standing there, things were calm and pleasant on the streets, even on the filthy corner a block away at Maple Street, where drunk-eyed young men normally stand idle or oggling young black women with tight pants.
This is the policing a community wants. This is the policing that leads responsible residents to stand up and stand with their officers, even helping them to the extent possible if something occurs and the officer is in danger, perhaps outnumbered by thugs.
Recently I wrote a post saying that the Hasidic part of the 71st precinct (in Crown Heights) had been receiving on-the-beat police service for a good while. I wrote this after speaking with uniformed officers stationed in the Hasidic part of Crown Heights who agreed with me.
The officers also agreed that Prospect Lefferts Gardens, which is racially mixed with a large population of working-class and even non-working-class (i.e., unemployed) blacks, most of West Indian heritage.
Interesting that the commanders of the 71st precinct are doing this beautiful work even as their mayor, Michael Bloomberg, makes a fool of himself saying city police should be stopping and frisking even more Black and Latino men, and fewer Whites.
It's crossed my mind that Bloomberg could be crossing the line where he's violating the Fourteenth Amendment in denying a segment of the population their rights to be treated equally.
What a fool.