What’s Old Is New Again

In 1918, a pandemic swept around the world.

In 1919, a series of riots swept through American cities.

A century later we have learned to be more efficient by having both within a few month period of the same year.

On 20 June 1973, the NYPD announced that it was disbanding the Stake-Out Squad.  The aforementioned unit had been created to address a spate of armed robberies/murders taking place in the city.  The unit, while the most well known, was not unique as numerous other agencies, such as Dallas, had similar units.

Here’s a video reenactment of the NYPD’s unit in action:

The following video is hard to watch.  I watched it hoping to hear primary source information on the Stakeout Squad from unit member Jim Cirillo.  Unfortunately, he wasn’t given much opportunity to actually speak in depth.  I include it in this article simply because it contains some of the same arguments currently being bandied.

This week, the NYPD announced that it was disbanding its Anti-crime Units.  The debates around the units are similar to those surrounding the Stakeout Squad.

I could write several paragraphs if not chapters on strategies.  I could also write on viewpoints.  I’ll cut it short by stating that I and my contemporaries have often been at a loss when accused of racial attitudes that we didn’t display much less possess, but it wasn’t until watching the video included below that I began to understand some of those accusations.  I wasn’t raised in a household in which I was told that the cops were part of an oppressive machine.

My great-great-great-grandfather Weems was a slaveholder.  I know this because I have a copy of his will, and in it, people were listed as property.

My father protected civil rights marchers in the 1960s.

I should neither be blamed for the actions of the one nor credited for the actions of the other as I didn’t do either of those deeds.  I should only be judged for my actions, but that is not our world because “we” don’t choose for it to be.