Rangel Denies NYC Marchers' 'Dead Cops' Chants, Then Brushes Them Off

December 27th, 2014 10:18 AM

As I noted almost two weeks ago, hundreds of protesters in Manhattan repeatedly shouted "What do we want? Dead Cops! When do we want it? Now!" during that city's version of the so-called "Justice For All" marches which took place in several locations around the nation on December 13.

The New York Times failed to report the protesters' rants in its original coverage of the marches. The fact that it finally did so in the 23rd paragraph of a separate story found on Page A18 of its print edition the following day hardly makes up for the paper's original omission. The establishment press in general has largely failed to recognize the existence of the "dead cops" chants — which likely explains why Harlem Congressman Charles Rangel was completely ignorant of them when CNN's Ashleigh Banfield interviewed him on Monday.

After blathering on for a half-minute about the "blue wall of silence" — cops who see improper things occurring and don't report them — Rangel first denied that the "dead cops" chants ever took place, and then blew them off:

Transcript (beginning at 0:30; bolds are mine):

Congressman Charles Rangel: But I don't think this is the time to talk about it because —

Ashleigh Banfield, CNN: But it is the time, Congressman. There are people who are marching the streets calling for "dead cops" in New York. They did that —

Rangel: They are not, they are not.

Banfield: We've got the, we've got the video. Steve in the control room, I need to see if you can go to the 12 o'clock rundown. I think there's some video I've got to show you that's released this weekend. It's heartbreaking to see people marching through the streets of New York saying "What do we want? Dead Cops! When do we want it? Now!" And they said it over and over again. It is time. I mean it's tragic to think that this is, that this is acceptable —

Rangel: It's not acceptable.

Banfield: For them it was.

Rangel: Well, they're ill people, and in any type of emotion, you'll find crazy people involved, and we should condemn it. But we shouldn't just concentrate on that. There are mentally ill people, there's a copycat tradition, and there's a feeling that people aren't appreciated for the work that they do, the courage they have each and every day.

So even after being confronted with the truth, Charlie Rangel brushed off the chanters as just (a few) "mentally ill people." While it's tempting to go there with such behavior, the fact is that hundreds of functioning adults willingly screamed for "dead cops" at the top of their lungs:

If even a tiny band of conservatives, Republicans or tea partiers uttered such sentiments about leftists they don't like, the press would give them saturation coverage, set out to "prove" (even without proof) that they're representatives of the entire party or movement, and hound party or organization officials for condemnations.

None of that is happening with the leaders of the so-called "Justice for All" marches and other related protests — even though the person who murdered two New York City cops in cold blood specifically said online that he was out to avenge Eric Garner's death, and even though I have yet to see any specific denunciations of the "dead cops" chanters by march leaders.

All of this began with the failure, arguably deliberate, of the New York Times and the rest of the press to report what actually happened when or shortly after it happened.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.