By Donathan Salkaln
Father Luis Gomez of the Holy Apostles, a priest of Hispanic descent, was schlepping home from the market with several bags of groceries when he was stopped and frisked by the NYPD. He was dressed casual at the time. The NYPD claimed he had drank a nearby discarded can of beer and they arrested him.
This action brings up two legitimate questions. At what point did our city's neighborhood police department wander so far out of the loop as not to recognize the neighborhood priest. And at what point did the neighborhood priest get pulled into statistics of 'rounding up the usual suspects.”
When did walking the beat and befriending a community become so anti-social. Was it when quotas were allegedly demanded by NYPD superiors? Is it still about 'Serpico?'
Commissioner Kelly argues that stopping people of minority in problem areas is the only way to save lives. I beg to differ.
According to a recent New York Time's article touching upon architectural activism, the city of Medellin, second largest city in Columbia, spent millions, under protest, to build an outdoor escalator that ascended 1,300 feet, and which eased the highland's poor in their commute to and from the rest of the city. Over the last twenty years Medellin has invested in many public projects and these actions of aiding it's own have coincided with a drop in the murder rate by 635 percent.
Or, as Father Gomez might put it, 'Respect thy neighbor.'
Posted on Fri, May 25, 2012