Why Cops Sometimes End up Shooting

Police Criticized for Use of Force Often Have No Other Choice

Originally published in The Epoch Times

An officer directs traffic for the funeral of slain New York City Police Officer Rafael Ramos, one of two officers murdered while sitting in their patrol car in an ambush in Brooklyn last Saturday afternoon on December 27, 2014 in New York City. (Kevin Hagen/Getty Images)

An officer directs traffic for the funeral of slain New York City Police Officer Rafael Ramos, one of two officers murdered while sitting in their patrol car in an ambush in Brooklyn last Saturday afternoon on December 27, 2014 in New York City. (Kevin Hagen/Getty Images)


Police officer John Cardillo was responding to a call in a restaurant in the Bronx in the 1990’s with three other police when they encountered their suspect. At five-foot-nine he was only about 135 pounds, but so high on a cocktail of hard drugs that he could use his body as a weapon.

“His eyes were completely dilated—he looked like a zombie,” said Cardillo, who retired from the NYPD after a decade and went on to do consulting work with police forces around the country and work as an on-air media analyst.

Years later, though, when asked to recall some of his experiences with suspects on mind- and physiology-altering drugs, that night in the Bronx comes to mind. When the man stole a baseball bat from the restaurant owner, it took four extremely strong male cops to subdue him. They later marveled at the insanity they’d witnessed and the fact that nobody had been injured.

“We could not pry the guy’s fingers off the bat,” recalled Cardillo. “We pepper-sprayed this guy, we used our baton on this guy. Later on we found out he was on a mix of crazy drugs—crack, heroin, PCP.”

Read the rest of the article here.


Veteran Journalist Gets a Bird’s Eye View of America’s Best Counterterrorism Force

Newsweek’s Christopher Dickey examines the NYPD’s fight against terrorism in his new book, “Securing the City

By Genevieve Long for the Foreign Policy Association

When the American public thinks of the United States fighting terrorism, the federal government naturally comes to mind. Yet for some in New York City, in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the bureaucracy of the CIA, FBI, DHS, DIA and NSA proved too cumbersome to be effective in preventing attacks. Raymond Kelly was one of the people with this opinion, and after being reinstated as New York Police Department Commissioner in 2002, he created an elite force to go inside the world of potential terrorists—in cities throughout around the planet. The result, seven years later, is described in Christopher Dickey’s new book, “Securing the City”.

Dickey, who is Paris Bureau Chief and Middle East Regional Editor for Newsweek, is a veteran journalist, war correspondent, and author of several books. He has also written for a number of magazines, including Foreign Affairs, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, and others.

Dickey’s book is already garnering accolades not only for its incisive look a rarely examined section of the NYPD, and for highlighting the dense amount of red tape that stands between the federal government and its ability to effectively fight terrorism.

Commissioner Kelly has focused on recruiting native-speakers of key languages needed to track activity in the world of terrorism—including Arabic, Farsi, and Dari. He has also seen to it that agents are stationed not just throughout New York’s five boroughs, but around the world. The NYPD’s counterterrorism network of about 600 agents is posted in major international cities, and the agents speak the languages and know the streets of the terrorist communities they are watching. Many of them, in a manner reflective of New York City’s general ethnic makeup, are foreign-born.

They know the slang of the back streets of Karachi because they are from the back streets of Karachi,” said Kelly during a recent appearance at the Overseas Press Club in New York for a Q&A with Christopher Dickey. He cooperated closely with Dickey for the book.

In contrast, it would be almost impossible for foreign-born applicants to get a similar position with the federal government because of prohibitive laws.

Dickey’s level of extraordinary access to the NYPD’s counterterrorism force for his book is somewhat of an anomaly. That alone could make the book worth reading. As NYPD Deputy Commissioner recently said, “If we gave brought the media out to see us work, that’s all we would ever do.” According to Browne, Dickey was given special access because of his affiliation with Newsweek and the impending publication of his book.

Dickey will continue his book tour at the Houston Forum on February 23 and at the World Affairs Council in Dallas on February 24.

New Book Takes Readers Inside the NYPD’s Counterterrorism Work

By Genevieve Long for The Epoch Times

With 32,000 police, the New York Police Department is the country’s largest police force and has been hardest-hit by terrorist attacks. It’s an operation that needs to have more than a few tricks up its sleeve.

One of these is the NYPD’s Intelligence Unit—an elite group of 600 officers and analysts stationed in New York City and throughout the world. The work of the unit, which was created after 9/11, is detailed in the new book “Securing the City” by Christopher Dickey. Dickey is the Paris Bureau Chief and Middle East Regional Editor for Newsweek Magazine.

The book, which was released this month, was written with the close cooperation of the NYPD and police Commissioner Ray Kelly, who says the specialized unit was created because information from the federal government was too slow in coming. After 9/11, he realized the NYPD could no longer rely on the CIA, FBI and NSA to keep New York City safe.

“Everything is bureaucratized, everything is slowed down in the federal government,” said Kelly during a recent discussion with “Securing the City” author Charles Dickey at the Overseas Press Club in Manhattan. Kelly says in the years since 9/11, the NYPD has focused on how to create a highly skilled and versatile unit with members who not only understands the world of terrorists, but who speak their language and even their slang.

Kelly says these basic communication skills are vital to the work they do.

“We took all of the speakers of the sensitive languages and sent them to Berlitz [language schools],” said Kelly. Many of those used for the special assignment are foreign-born immigrants who the federal government will not clear to do counterterrorism work. Kelly thinks that such an exclusion is a mistake, and understanding subtle linguistic nuances can make for truly useful intelligence. “They know the slang of the back streets of Karachi because they are from the back streets of Karachi,” said Kelly about the members of the unit.

In addition to extensive international field work and intelligence gathering, the unit also works side-by-side with the beat police in the NYPD who are deeply familiar with the city’s five boroughs. This includes the use of Critical Response Vehicles (CRVs).

Twice a day, approximately five times a week, 75 police cars—or CRVs—with two police officers each from various parts of the city gather at a rallying point, get the day’s counterterrorism briefing, and break off into smaller groups. The rallying points change constantly and sometimes cause a stir when they are in major tourist areas like Times Square. The unpredictable movement of the CRVs, coupled with their sudden, massive presence also acts as a warning to potential terrorist attackers. The enormous police presence is impossible to ignore, and impossible to predict.

The NYPD’s counterterrorism unit also closely watches broader changes in the stability of international situations, such as the war in Afghanistan, and resurgent Taliban forces there.

“We pay a lot of attention to what goes on in Pakistan and Afghanistan,” said Kelly. “You cannot separate Pakistan from Afghanistan and the rise of the Taliban.”

Although New York has been hit repeatedly by terrorist attacks and is the ongoing target of sinister plots, book author Christopher Dickey says the city’s large number of immigrants is its best insurance. That’s largely due to the fact that immigrants traditionally tend to become personally vested in their adopted city, reducing the chance they would attack a place they call home.

“New York keeps taking it on the chin,” said Dickey, who adds that despite past attacks against New York, there is still less to fear than most places. “The safest big cities in the U.S. are those with the highest number of first-generation immigrants.”

Dickey’s book, “Securing the City”, is available at Amazon.com and in major bookstores.