God Rest Detective Omar J. Edwards, peace to his soul and my condolences to his family. ( http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/e/omar_j_edwards/index.html?inline=nyt-per )
A sad day today as the June rain subsided and a human sea of blue took it’s place. See ( http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/03/nyregion/03shoot.html ). There is an unmistakenly damp funky dirty air taste that hits the pallet after a New York rain storm , and as i breathed deeply it stirred memories of my city.
As I took my place in the sea of blue I did not stand with the “bosses” although I am proud and worked hard to be one. I stood with my brother and sister officers from the Bronx. We were all here l to honor the memory of a young man taken from our beloved city. A father, a husband a son, whose DNA was African Panamanian American. His dad served as the President of the 73 Precinct community council, he dreamed of becoming a cop and his dream came true but the dream ended when a bullet from a brother officer killed him.
Good memories of Brooklyn as a young officer.
As I took my place walking down Fulton Street, Bedford StuyvesantBrooklyn , N.Y. Im struck by the strong pungent smell of rotti that fills the air, shay soap for sale on the sidewalks and muslim insence burning inside of many stores. I recall eating my first and last “rotti” with an old partner “Chucky”.
Chucky was a prince of Bed Sty, tall young handsome African American a ” lady killa”. While TV had Cagney and Lacey, Starsky and Hutch we were ” called salt and peppa” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salt-n-Pepa by the drug dealers and thugs who loved ” dissin us” ( as salt n peppa were girl rappers, testing our man hood) but they knew not to mess with us. But they also knew we were fair. Most of them are dead, and I’m still standin and Chucky, im sure the women still love him. When I was alone all the girls came up to me, not for my phone number but to ask “where is your partner” give him my number, i know U tight with him like that.” I would laugh.
Bad Memories and Nice Folks Murdered.
I walked this beat for many years in the late 80’s. The McDonald’s is still at Kingston and Throop Avenues, but the community and business area has changed for the better. When I patrolled here abandoned stores and crack dens once stood, now small business have taken their place, ” good news”. I recall the faces exiting the subway after a hards days work and mostly folk with brown faces who said ” nice to see you officer”.
For the good working folks know that we had our hands full during the crack hey day when I patrolled “BED STY”. I thought about the nice token booth lady burned alive at the Kingston Avenue “A” stop. , She made brownies for us all the time. I wondered to myself if anyone else remember her, I wonder how her family has done some 15-20 years later, how are her children I would like to tell them there mother was a sweetheart. Death ends so quickly for some, and those who are left behind frequently dont’ know some traits of their loved ones that made them special.
Those who prejudge a shooting have personal motives and agendas they are not the guardians of justice.
While, The pundits, politicians, media hounds, reporters, cop bashes, DA’s office, hate mongers will try and manipulate the facts surrounding Omar’s death I cannot and will not.
I will not judge or comment on this shooting until I hear, see and observe all the physical and eye witnesses to this event. Those who pre-judge are neither students of the law or jurisprudence. I have been in three police shooting incidents know enough not to comment.
I will say this :
Every officer knows it’s more dangerous to be a officer of color as opposed to a caucasian officer., especially when a brown skinned man has a gun in his hand. The Governor and others state ” never again” but friendly fire will occur again. Race may have played a role in this tragic event, but the “gun” is the catalyst. I feel horrible for Officer Edwards and his family, I feel empathy for Officer Dunton as he did not go out ” head hunting” or with a vandetta against African Americans, but his split second judgment was incorrect and caused another mans death. That is a terrible thing to live with, and he has been wounded and his body and soul will pay the price.