Who’s That Knocking At Your Door

One of the most profound concepts is that any time you enact a law or regulation that involves a police interaction, it could result in a person’s execution. Is it worthy of execution? Did New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio ask himself that question before coming up with this brilliant idea?

The flaws reflected by BdB’s comments are manifest. First, there’s implication of free speech rights. There is no exception for “hate speech,” despite the myriad passionate voices who believe there is or should be. If you have a constitutional right to say something, what business is it of the government, or the police, to “show up at your door” to ask you anything?  More to the point, we have the right to be left alone, to not have the cops show up at our door without lawful cause, not that BdB appears to be aware of that right either.

Then there’s the issue of the cops, or Bill or perhaps a blue-ribbon committee of Bill’s close friends, being the arbiters of what speech is “hateful but not criminal.” A wag might suggest that the only speech that the cops might find too harsh to tolerate would be criticism of them, but even assuming they are given some guidance beyond their self-interest, who decides where the line is drawn? Given recent speech conventions, we would need a new list of wrong speech weekly, if not daily, to keep abreast of what words we’re still allowed to say without a visit from Officer Wokely.

But did BdB really say something this absurdly bizarre and constitutionally deficient? Well, yeah, he did.

Question: …And I mean, what you said about, if it’s something that’s not a criminal case, how would the NYPD confront someone if it’s not criminal? Would they have a conversation with them to say, Hey, that’s actually not cool? How would that work?

Mayor: Well, that’s exactly what happens. Whether again, it’s NYPD or it could be other agencies as well, but NYPD is a great example. One of the things officers are trained to do is to give warnings. If someone has done something wrong, but not rising to a criminal level, it’s perfectly appropriate for an NYPD officer to talk to them to say that was not appropriate. And if you did that on a higher level, that would be a crime. And I think that has an educating impact on people. I think it has a sobering impact that we need. That’s why we need every report – by the way, if something might be a crime, if it’s not 100 percent clear, the NYPD is going to investigate. I assure you if an NYPD officer calls you or shows up at your door to ask about something that you did, that makes people think twice. And we need that.

The idea that every social ill can be fixed by governmental force, because it “makes people think twice,” is a core use of power in the sanitizing of individual thought. Even if it was used in the manner BdB naively assumes it will be, with the cops “speech policing” individuals who use words or phrases that are on the official “hate speech” list, what does he imagine would happen when, on Day 1, someone who is chastised by a cop for using a disfavored word responds by telling the police officer to “shove it up his ass”? After all, the First Amendment entitles us to tell that to a cop. Would the officer reply, “Have a nice day, sir,” or would the officer perhaps reply with stronger language, a threat, or a damn fine beating?

If the idea of cops being called to duty to “make people think twice” about someone doing “something wrong but not criminal” sounds familiar, it might be the campus bias teams that have been embraced by colleges and universities to speech police students who are accused of “hate speech” under campus disciplinary codes that skirt the contours of free speech. There are differences, of course, in that bias response teams can only report a student for discipline or subject them to campus humiliation by proclaiming them to be a social pariah, whereas the cops have better, deadlier, weapons to deploy.

Does anyone give any thought to how, at a time when we’re reluctant to have the police enjoy ever greater latitude in the use of force against individuals for fear that they will use force to swiftly, too harshly, too indiscriminately (or discriminately), that they are putting almost limitless power in the hands of the police to engage with people exercising their constitutional rights that will, eventually, end up with someone executed? Not Bill deBlasio, apparently, and likely not those who decry the cops’ handling of mostly peaceful protests but are all in favor of policing speech they dislike and deem unworthy of being uttered without a cop knocking at your door.

23 thoughts on “Who’s That Knocking At Your Door

  1. DaveL

    It’s nothing new for the woke to want their own “woke police” in some form or another, but how much PCP do you have to smoke to want to deputize the NYPD for that purpose?

    1. SHG Post author

      One of the many incoherent views of the woke is that ACAB but give them vastly new powers. PCP or crack, pick ’em.

  2. Rxc

    I think that they already have something like this in the UK, with Anti Social Behaviour Orders. And in Scotland, they went even further with the establishment of “named persons” to serve as guardians for every child. The latter concept was not well received, and is being reconsidered. Mayor Deblasio is just trying to lead us forward to where the socially advanced governments are.

  3. Lambert

    Maybe uncle Bill is worried that his pals in NYPD won’t give him the 2021 Most Compliant Manipulable Mayor award.

    1. SHG Post author

      And here I was, wondering which one of you would be so bold as to go for Barnacle Bill. My hopes are dashed.

  4. L. Phillips

    Any officer worth his/her/its salt is going to avoid this duty assignment like the plague. So you have squads of shitbirds and surly conscripts out knocking and talking. Best guess is the rate of “damn fine beatings” soars.

    Human nature being inclined toward teaching the unrighteousness a lesson they won’t forget by force, I’m going with this as the unstated but preferred woke outcome.

  5. B. McLeod

    Voting against the idiot probably counts as hateful conduct. NYPD is going to need an exponential budget increase.

  6. Scarlet Pimpernel

    911: 911 What’s your emergency.
    Caller: Ya, I’m in Central Park and an African American Man is threatening me and my dog.”
    911: Mam, I must inform you that the NYPD has recently implemented enhanced penalties for frivolous 911 calls as it relates to minorities.
    Caller: But he called me a b****.
    911: Mam, you should have said that from the beginning. I have dispatched a unit and they are on their way.

  7. kp

    Hate speech not quite criminal? This guy is first for a visit..

    “US President Joe Biden says Russian President Vladimir Putin will face consequences..He will pay a price,”

    “when asked if he thought Mr Putin was a killer, he told the broadcaster: “I do.” “

  8. Chaswjd

    If a police officer comes onto my property for a DeBlasio warning, since there has been no crime committed and there is no investigation of a crime being conducted, is the officer committing a trespass?

    1. SHG Post author

      Did you confuse SJ for a stupid lawyer question site? No, it would probably not be any more of a trespass than any other person who knocked on your door to talk to you about their deep thoughts.

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