Newsday's editorials of Dec. 22 and 23 say that Patrolmen's Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch has been speaking "falsely and recklessly" and in an "opportunistic, divisive and destructive" way about the shooting deaths of New York City Police Department Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu ["After cop deaths, city needs sanity" and "Police, citizens can restore trust"].
The editorial board overlooks that Mayor Bill de Blasio has reached out to take the Rev. Al Sharpton into his circle of close advisers. Sharpton has in the past fomented deadly civil unrest, including the 1995 Freddie's Fashion Mart arson that killed seven employees, and the 1991 Crown Heights pogrom in which a black man killed a white student named Yankel Rosenbaum.
Neither de Blasio nor anyone else can claim that the lethal consequences of Sharpton's machinations are unforeseeable or unexpected. Having effectively given Sharpton the keys to City Hall, de Blasio cannot now wash his hands of moral, if not criminal, responsibility for the deaths of officers Ramos and Liu.
Kenneth H. Ryesky, East Northport
As a retired public school teacher, I am very supportive of unions and the important role they play. I also have great respect for the majority of our dedicated police officers who risk their lives to protect the public. But no union can claim perfection for its members, including the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association of the NYPD.
PBA president Patrick Lynch's comments blaming protesters and the mayor for the tragic deaths of two officers are misguided. To ignore the fact that a very small minority of officers are belligerent and aggressive toward minorities is naive and arrogant. The vast majority of those protesters decry violence and condemn the coward who killed the officers.
To heal the rift between the NYPD and some communities in New York City, it would be helpful if Lynch would hold accountable any officers who in rare instances violate the civil rights of others, especially minority citizens.
Ernie Rudloff, Plainview
They still don't get it. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, President Barack Obama, the Rev. Al Sharpton and other ideologues are still trying to cast blame rather than accept some responsibility for inciting the violent demonstrations that tragically led to the assassinations of two of New York's finest on Dec. 20.
Mayor de Blasio is trying to lay blame on the media for focusing their attention on a few deranged protesters. chanting about "dead cops."
The lack of leadership in a time of crisis is appalling. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any end to the craziness gripping our country. That is, unless and until voters elect leaders who have the ability and experience to get things done, rather than ideologues who only promote their progressive agendas.
Bob Slingo, East Northport
Camera surveillance and creep factor
So many voices complained that the school-zone cameras were about raising money, not about public safety ["Demise of the cameras," Letters, Dec. 21].
I hated the cameras most of all for how far they moved us toward being a surveillance society, as usual in the name of safety and security.
Isn't anyone else creeped out by this? Does the government of a "free" country really need an electronic eye watching over all of its citizens? What kind of country are we becoming?
Janet King, Glen Cove
Obama opinion on movie hypocritical
President Barack Obama's statement that Sony Pictures Entertainment should not have given into hackers ["Obama: Pulling movie 'a mistake,' " News, Dec. 20] was nothing more than hypocrisy.
For days in 2012, the president led the nation to believe that a movie caused the storming of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, and the deaths of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. So why now would it be hard to believe that a movie could cause similar retaliation on U.S. soil, or anywhere else for that matter?
Lou Desiderio, South Huntington