Three former NYPD police officers discussed the murder of a 14-year-old gang member on Facebook and the exchange was awful as one could expect, according to an exclusive report by Mic News.
When 14-year-old Christopher Duran left his home in the Bronx for school last Friday morning, a red bandana-wearing gunman shot him to death. Former police officer and current CNN contributor Thomas Verni posted a New York Post story of Doran’s murder on his Facebook page, where the three former cops basically blamed the young boy for his own death.
Here is exchange, per a screenshot captured by Mic News:
Yep, these men once wore the uniform and had the authority to arrest (and shoot) New Yorkers.
(Side note: this Facebook exchange should not surprise you. AlterNet’s Max Blumenthal previously reported the racist exchanges between current and former cops)
An NYPD representative told Mic News that Joseph Gasparre and Andrew Blethen were the names of two of its ex-cops. Though the NYPD could not confirm if Brian Charles was a former member of its force, his Instagram account shows him wearing an NYPD uniform in 2006. The account owner has since removed that photo.
These men are no longer cops, so they can’t be held accountable for their words, but it does inform the wider conversation over the mentality that many cops have towards minorities. The repeated use of the word “thug” during the exchange reminds us of NFL cornerback’s Richard Sherman’s statement that “thug” is the new n-word.
Given the “Stop and Frisk” was just recently ruled unconstitutional, it would be interesting to know if Gasparre, Charles and Blethen stopped black and Latino New Yorkers (or, in their language, “thugs”) without legal grounds.
The death of a 14-year-old is a terrible tragedy, but when former cops speak of the boy as a “thug” and nothing more, it makes you wonder how many current cops feel the same.