Police all over America have been injured during recent riots that ensued during protests against the killing of black man George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer. To date, in New York around 350 police have been injured, and one NYPD union has had enough.
The protection of their officers is of utmost importance, and the union’s intention is clear. Paul DiGiacomo, president of the Detectives’ Endowment Association, has pledged to sue any rioter, looter, or protester who causes harm to members of the union, which represents around 19,000 former and current detectives.
“If you assault a New York City detective and there are no consequences from the criminal justice system, we have to have other means to protect our detectives,” said DiGiacomo.
“It’s heart-wrenching because they are out there doing a job under very difficult circumstances, trying to protect the innocent people that are protesting while the criminal element is within that group, assaulting, looting, and victimizing not only police officers and detectives out there, but also the people of the city,” said DiGiacomo.
The first case involves the alleged attack on Detective Joseph Nicolosi during a robbery arrest of a suspect at a Manhattan pharmacy. Nicolosi was injured when the 19-year-old looter resisted arrest.
“They’ve had urine thrown at them, rocks thrown at them, shot at, assaulted. I don’t know how much more they could take a day of putting up with a lot out there. And, you know, they are the finest in the world and they are doing a fabulous job, but they are being demonized by the elected officials,” DiGiacomo said.
Civil rights attorney Ron Kuby has decades of experience dealing with police issues and said according to Fox News, “If the police want to use the civil law as a tool in their policing, those of us who pay their salaries have the opportunity now to engage in some real reform, which is, stop the indemnification of cops, stop the free lawyers for the police, stop the qualified immunity for the police—and we’ll see how that works out for them,” Kuby said.
“This is not a new tactic by the police. This was tried back in the 1990s in New York City, at another time when there was a great deal of unrest and ultimately, it didn’t work,” he said.
There have been moves by congressional lawyers and some state legislatures to remove qualified immunity as legal protection for police officers, reported Fox News.
“The cops freak out about their privacy concerns and don’t want their personal history handed over to the very people that they are suing,” Kuby said. “That is another powerful reason not to go through with these lawsuits.”