James, a cop of a certain age, paused for effect. Now, you can dismiss this as the ranting of a racist, or you can give him more of a listen, to see where he's going with it. I listened.
"The real deal with that Puerto Rican Day parade is that white officers were given assigned posts, while officers of color?ain't that a swell term?like whites have no color?we're blank?were given the freedom to move around the parade. So now you have a disgruntled force working a parade. So when that shit went down, the cops probably didn't react the way they should have. But what Safir won't let out is the 'unofficial' policy of that parade, which was for white officers to keep a distance. So to me, Safir is more at fault than the individual cops are. The cops maybe should get a suspension, but Safir should be fired. But that won't happen. They'll hang out the 40-grand-a-year schmuck as the bad guy. That's what they always do. Safir and Giuliani have continually sold cops out. People think most cops support those guys. They don't."
James stopped for a well-deserved breath.
James pays attention to the world around him; he's a vociferous reader. His hobbyhorse is The New York Times and its phoniness.
"I read the Times, and then whatever they write, I know that the opposite is what's happening. They are so biased, it's actually amusing. A few years ago at the St. Patrick's parade I was with a writer friend of mine and he ran into a reporter he knew from the Times. She told us she was sent out on assignment to find drunks and other scenes of mayhem. Luckily the Irish were cleaning up their act that year, so she had no story to file. Now, I have nothing against that. The Irish can be the biggest bunch of jackasses going. But do you think the Times would ever send a reporter out to the PR Day parade looking for the trouble spots? Hell, no. They would write an article celebrating the 'Hispanic culture.' Lemme tell you something?that shit that went on at this year's parade went on every year before that, just not as much and not in Central Park. Now it's a big story."
James saved his real venom for the Rev. Al Sharpton.
"That fat fuck. I swear to God, when I retire I'm going to challenge him to a street brawl. Just me and him. He'll never fight like a man, but that boy needs a good old-fashioned ass-whuppin'. He brays about cops being too tough on minorities, and once in a while he has a point, but then when the 'women of color' get savaged by their own kind, the cops are too weak. Can't have it both ways. Where is the outrage for those little fucking punks in the park? Where is Sharpton's demonstration against them? Where is Susan Sarandon getting arrested down at City Hall? They were boys 'of color,' so we must tread lightly. Bunch of white boys did that, Dinkins and the rest would be out screaming like the jackals they are. But when the colored boys act up they all get silent.
"Me, I'd beat the living shit out of those fucking punks and feel good about it. Those women needed to be protected, and if the cops dropped the ball, where were their boyfriends? What about someone in that crowd seeing that ugly shit and stepping up to put a stop to it? Where were the righteous brothers that I know are still out there? Or fathers? We got to get out and protect the women. Stick up for the old, too. Bunch of punks in this city."
James shook his head in disgust and stayed silent for awhile. Then we had a good laugh about Bruce Springsteen's new song, "American Skin," and PBA President Pat Lynch's reaction to it.
"So this guy writes a song. So what? Springsteen never worked a day in his life, so what does he know? Why get all worked up about it? Lynch comes out swinging like he's back in the 60s, like an Archie Bunker, and Springsteen is some draft-dodging hippie. The song really doesn't say much?which is typical. Springsteen being vague and letting all the fools read into it what they want. Lynch should concentrate on getting us a raise and stop mouthing off about middle-aged rock singers."
James claims that he loves New York City and most of its population. He's lived here his whole life and has enough years in at the PD where he could go south or west or wherever it is cops go when they take their 20-year retirements.
"I love being a cop. And I'm staying in this city even after I retire. I'll be the crazy old man with a gun... But the problem this city is going to have is a lot of good cops are coming up on 20 years and they're going to go. Guys and gals that have seen the shit of the 70s, 80s and early 90s. Real cops. Tough people. See, the PD forces out their best. Maple is in New Orleans, Timoney is in Philly?those two guys may have been the best cops ever produced by the PD, and they're gone. Because of Safir. Because of Giuliani. So the vets leave, and you have the creampuffs and newbies left. You have a man on the scene with half of Maple's abilities, and Diallo would be alive today.
"I want to stay a cop and live in New York, because I want to see the day when the Times and others that are fast to sell out a white ethnic will have to deal with people of 'color' taking their place and doing the same shit. You see what happened after Louima? They made a bunch of black cops go work in that precinct. It was like out of a Tarzan movie: Let's keep the natives quiet and feed them their own kind. That wasn't fair to those black cops. Because you're black, you'd be better in that precinct? Those black cops sued and got 50 G's each. Good for them. Policing shouldn't have a color, no matter what Fat Al and the Times may say."