Call it martial law or call it a police state. Either one you chose isn’t too far off and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg knows it. At a speaking engagement Tuesday night, Bloomberg referred to the NYPD as his own army.
Addressing suggestions that he should vie for the White House and leaving the Big Apple behind in favor of joining the race for the presidency, Bloomberg told an audience at MIT on Tuesday that he doesn’t need to tackle Washington; according to the mayor, his reign over New York trumps anything that a throne in the oval office could offer.
"I have my own army in the NYPD, which is the seventh biggest army in the world,” said Bloomberg, reports The New York Observer. "I have my own State Department, much to Foggy Bottom's annoyance. We have the United Nations in New York, and so we have an entree into the diplomatic world that Washington does not have."
Yes, Bloomberg said he has his own army. He said he has his own State Department. Yes, he said that New York and his title there gives him practically as power as the commander-in-chief. And yes, once again, Bloomberg said that he has an army.
An army seventh in size at roughly 35,000 soldiers — er, police officers — and first in corruption it would seem. While Bloomberg has been elected to three terms as ruler of New York, his “army” has been plagued with scandal since even before his tenure began. In recent years, however, the cops of the New York Police Department has been caught on the other side of the crime line, with allegations of brutality, rape, cover-ups and corruption becoming just as common in NYC as a pile of pigeon poop.
In the last month alone, officers within the NYPD have admitted to planting drugs on innocent civilians to meet arrest quotas, conspiring within other officers in those very crimes and squashing the First Amendment time after time. The NYPD bypassed the FBI to go after an alleged planner of a bomb attack earlier this month and has also in recent weeks claimed that the force has the firepower to take down an aircraft.
After the police department assaulted peaceful protesters with pepper spray during the early days of the Occupy Wall Street movement, outrage erupted but inhumane and illegal tactics out of Manhattan’s One Police Plaza have only escalated. During crackdowns aimed at OWS demonstrations in recent weeks, cops were caught brutally assaulting protesters and reporters alike, barring members of the media from covering events in public spaces, stripping them of their constitutional rights. Now in its third month, the movement continues to gain momentum, despite the mayor’s refusal to acknowledge the protester’s own rights.
An ongoing investigation that RT has reported on throughout this year reveals that, thanks to some digging of dirt from the Associated Press, the NYPD has even been installing undercover officers in Muslim-majority neighborhoods to conduct clandestine surveillance on followers of Islam — who, if you asked presidential hopeful Rick Santorum, are “obviously” the group of people that are most likely to carry out terrorist attacks.
If Bloomberg doesn’t want the White House, maybe Santorum should forfeit the race and set sights on the mayoral mansion.
Bloomberg has even acknowledged to the AP that civil liberties are being stripped so that his army can enforce laws in New York, saying, "As the world gets more dangerous, people are willing to have infringements on their personal freedoms that they would not before.”
Even if Mayor Bloomberg hyperbolized a bit with his blurb about his military regime, he added on Tuesday that perhaps even the president himself can’t stop him from continuing his reign.
"I don't listen to Washington very much, which is something they're not thrilled about," Bloomberg said.
“The difference between my level of government and other levels of government is that action takes place at the city level. The cities and mayors are where you deal with crime, you deal with real immigration problems, you deal with health problems, you deal with picking up the garbage."
Is it safe to say that that’s just metaphorical trash that Lieutenant Bloomberg alluded to at his speech this week? It’s good to know that the people of New York have such a thoughtful man calling the shots.