On July 9th, New York City Police Officer Russel Timoshenko and his partner, Officer Herman Yan, were shot while making a routine traffic stop in Brooklyn. Officer Timoshenko died from his wounds this week, and he is to be buried Thursday morning. May he rest in peace.
On Wednesday, the New York Times sought out the views of Rev. Al Sharpton, who had not been on camera about this murder, although Rev. Sharpton has been a constant media presence when allegations of police brutality are raised. The Times story, entitled "Sharpton on Police Shooting: ‘A Shame and a Disgrace’" is here
Rev. Sharpton had apparently issued a press release on his organization's web site, which press release was quoted extensively by the Times. Rev. Sharpton's press release included the following:
We also wish to make clear that violence and thuggery is not acceptable to us as a community as a whole. Violence directed towards police officers is as immoral as violence emminating [sic] from bad cops and we stand with those calling for justice. In these times it is important for all of us to remeber [sic] that we either live together as brothers or we will perish together as fools.
Officer Russel Timoshenko was an upstanding young man and had a bright future in law enforcement. From all accounts he was a good cop and will be surely missed by his family and we stand with them in this time of morning.
Although the Times made no note of it, it is remarkable that Rev. Sharpton could not pen reflections on the--by all accounts--cold-blooded murder of Officer Timoshenko without raising the topic of violence emanating from "bad cops." Having dragged in the topic of "bad cops", the comment by Rev. Sharpton that Officer Timoshenko "From all accounts...was a good cop" has the flavor of a qualifier, such as "based on the information I have heard."
Going beyond Rev. Sharpton's press release, the Times obtained from him a statement about the shooting: “It’s a shame and a disgrace for all of us, and for the city.” This is the text that the Times chose to put into its headline for the story. But if Rev. Sharpton and the New York Times cannot allow Officer Timoshenko's family the opportunity to bury him without bringing up the topic of violence from "bad cops", the shooting itself is not the only disgrace at hand.