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Letter: Hold judgment of James Blake cop

Video footage released by the NYPD shows retired

Video footage released by the NYPD shows retired tennis star James Blake being thrown to the ground and handcuffed by an undercover officer outside a Manhattan hotel in a case of mistaken identity. Credit: NYPD

Your board's continuing lack of objectivity when dealing with police issues is stunning and is once again exemplified in "Give cops respect, but also scrutiny" [Editorial, Sept. 17].

New York City Patrolmen's Benevolent Association president Pat Lynch is neither arguing against scrutiny, nor is he "bombastic;" he's asserting the need for an informed understanding and the importance of avoiding the visceral in judging police action. A video can't clearly capture the importance of some subjective elements, such as perceived danger, reasonable suspicion or perhaps probable cause. A veteran cop can discern these.

Police work, like medicine and the law, is largely driven by experience and principles. Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and former Commissioner Ray Kelly have every right to speak out, but they have no right to judge any officer's conduct before the whole matter is thoroughly investigated.

Your editorial logic, language and specious reasoning are neither respectful nor do they reinforce reliable scrutiny.

Michael J. Butler, Greenport

Editor's note: The writer is a retired Nassau County police captain, an attorney and a former adjunct instructor of criminal justice.