The Aiders and Abetters With Shields

Rookie NYPD cop Nicholas Batka was a drinker, and proud of it.

Batka’s Facebook page features more than a half-dozen photos of him posing with beer and booze. One of them, from 2013, shows him leaning over eight shots of booze, with the quip: “And all for me ;p.” He added: “it deff was a night to celebrate.”

A picture with the profile says: “Just because it’s a bad idea doesn’t mean it’s not going to be a good time.”

It’s all fun until it isn’t. The fun stopped when Batka, totally wasted, drove his SUV onto the sidewalk and hit four people, one of whom was a 21-year-old MIT student, Andrew Esquivel, in New York for a summer job.  Batka killed him.

Andrew Esquivel was walking home when he was fatally struck and three others were injured by Officer Nicholas Batka’s runaway SUV on a Williamsburg sidewalk at shortly after 3 a.m. Sunday.

Much of what follows is a fairly pedestrian tale of what happens when cops are the criminals.

Batka refused to take a Breathalyzer, but a blood sample was obtained when he was brought to Weill Cornell for an examination. He was released to cops who busted him for crimes including manslaughter.

He was arraigned early Sunday in Brooklyn night court, where Judge Sharon Hudson set bail at $300,000.

He tried to change seats so he could feign not being the driver, to get away. Witnesses stopped him. He didn’t even realize that he killed anyone, but he did have his cop-wits about him sufficiently to refuse a breathalyzer.

But what came before the crime matters.

The carnage took place on Bedford Avenue near North Eighth Street, a block crowded with people enjoying the neighborhood’s ­vibrant bar scene.

One of the revelers was Batka, who had been drinking with other cops at a nearby bar, according to sources, who said he had a bar receipt in his pocket.

My emphasis.  And Batka was a cop who loved to drink.

Batka, a former correction officer, has a history of drinking, a former jail colleague said Sunday.

“He’s a nice guy but loves to drink,” the old co-worker said.

Hey, everybody is a “nice guy” until they kill someone. By co-worker, that means cop. Cops drinking with Batka in the bar. Cops who knew Batka was a drinker. Then, this wasted cop got into his Dodge Durango and killed Andrew Esquivel and injured three others. Up until then, it was a good time for Batka and his brothers.

One could point out the rank hypocrisy of the same people who will arrest you enabling one of their own to do the same thing.  Hell, there’s a good chance they were doing the same thing themselves, but kismet got them home without killing anyone. But that’s the difference between them and you.

Hell, they can’t even come up with a lie to cover their asses.  There is nothing here, no claim of fear, no rap sheet to whip out to prove that the dead kid isn’t a sufficiently worthy human being to get all bent out of shape about. Nothing.

Batka will be prosecuted for what he did, but what of the cops in the bar who drank with him, who had a good time getting shitfaced with their buddies?  Who waved good-bye to their comrade as he drove off in his SUV?

What of the cops who knew him to be a drinker? What of his co-workers before he went to John Jay cop school, joined the NYPD, when he was a prison guard, who knew him to be a drunk? Was it all in good fun, nothing to get too excited about, until now?  Was it a big joke until he killed a kid?

In public, cops speak in somber tones, very official, very serious, about the bad things people do. It all sounds very different when they’re hanging in a bar with each other, getting drunk and enjoying the camaraderie of fellow liars.  New York’s Finest enabled some wasted cop to kill a young man and harm others.  How proud you must be that you could have stopped Batka from getting into his SUV drunk and killing a kid, but you would never challenge a brother officer who was just having a good time. Just like you.

The other cops whose lives cross Batka’s, who drank with him, who knew that he was out of control, won’t be charged. But they aided and abetted the death of Andrew Esquivel. Make no mistake about it.

11 thoughts on “The Aiders and Abetters With Shields

  1. OEH

    If they had to go back 3 years to find 7 photos of him with beer, that’s only 2.3 beer photos/year. Maybe my perspective is warped but that doesn’t seem like a lot.

    1. SHG Post author

      If they went back an hour to the bar where he got shitfaced before getting into his SUV, would that seem like a lot?

  2. Scott Morrell

    I am really getting sick of enablers on both sides of the police issue. Precisely, the radical black thugs that instigate hate against police with the broad brush, and the men in blue that defend their own no matter what they have done. This is not the measure of courage. It is the definition of weakness.

    Until both sides understand that everyone has a responsibility with their words and actions, then the cycle of senseless deaths will continue.

    Finally, the use of ‘kismet’ made me go to Webster’s Dictionary Online to decipher. That was word you elegantly pulled out of a fedora, even though I had no idea what it meant – now known by me as ‘destiny.’

    1. SHG Post author

      1. Be careful of false equivalencies.
      2. What part of this post gives rise to your mention of “radical black thugs”?

      1. Scott Morrell

        Ok. So it seems that widening the context is not what you want to hear in this post. I don’t know where I implied a false equivalency, but let’s move on to the narrow comment you would like for this particular post.

        I agree with everything you said. It is really a no brainer. The problem is that “fraternities” stick to one another as if life is a zero sum game. It’s not. Absolutism leads to division and prevents the willingness to listen to other sides that may share your own common values.

        The police who are there “to protect and to serve the community” must include the community of their peers. No exceptions. That is the defintion of putting your own within the law, not above the law. To me, that is offensive and irresponsible.

        So, without mentioning the other ills in our society in this post, it is crystal clear that many police and their departments cover their own ass to the detriment of justice and fairness.

        1. SHG Post author

          Police and BLM are not equivalents. I tried to make that clear before. As for “widening the topic,” there have been numerous posts here dealing with BLM and the police killings. This wasn’t one of them. Not even a little bit.

  3. Wilbur

    I cannot speak from the viewpoint of a policeman. But I’ve lectured a few prosecutors that although you may be the world’s best drunk driver, if some other driver runs a light and T-bones you, he gets a citation and you’re going to jail. Usually in the marked unit of a gleeful officer.

    If you must drink, get some help. In any event, just do Uber or Lyft. Nowadays, there’s really no excuse.

    1. SHG Post author

      Hold on, I’m taking notes. So, bad to get drunk, drive and kill someone if you’re a prosecutor. Got it.

  4. Andrew

    Maybe I missed something, but was there an indication that the people Batka was with knew he was going to be driving? At least for me, if I’m out drinking with friends my baseline assumption is that anyone drinking will be walking/biking/ubering/taxiing home.

    1. SHG Post author

      Your baseline assumption really has no bearing on anything. This isn’t about you. Cops typically live in the outer boroughs and drive, but more importantly, driving would be his normal mode of transportation, and if one is going to make an assumption, it’s that a person will do what he usually does, drive home from the bar.

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