November 2017, Post Trivia – A Cop Remembers, Part 3

November 2017
Post 13 Trivia – A Cop Remembers 3
John Young, Patrolman

Raymond Kelly (Sept 1992-Jan 1994) former First Deputy under Lee Brown, took over as acting Police Commissioner. The police shooting of “Kiko” Garcia in the 34th Precinct by Mike O’Keefe, led to a hot summer that ended with a police riot at City Hall. A series of events unraveled, starting with three days of rioting in Crown Heights, Dinkins visiting the Garcia family, the Cardinal announcing that the Catholic Church would not tolerate a police cover-up, and Dinkins wanting to establish an all-civilian CCRB.

Opposition to an all-civilian CCRB eventually led to a PBA sponsored rally (9/16/92) at City Hall. More than 10,000 off-duty cops responded. According to the New York Times, beer-drinking cops broke through barricades to rush the steps of City Hall, while others blocked traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge, and used racial slurs to describe the Mayor. This was probably the beginning of fake news! The Daily News continued to make it racial!

The Bronx Press-Review, a weekly newspaper (9/24/92), told another story. Headlines read: “10,000 cops say Dinkins Must Go!” A front page story by reporter R. Paul Cook stated that what was reported on TV and in daily newspapers told a different story of what he and his photographer actually witnessed. Cook wrote that having witnessed the protest first hand, the Mayor and some reporters (in both broadcasting and print media) went out of their way to cast this rather common protest in the worst possible light. He further stated that the story was hyped and misled the public into believing something violent and destructive had taken place.

Not mentioned in the article was the fact that bosses grabbed three female demonstrators, placed them under arrest and took them into City Hall. The ladies were “Survivors of the Shield” who had showed up to support the off-duty cops. The widows were later released by Chief of Patrol Dave Scott. A police helicopter buzzed City Hall and the pilot was later returned to foot patrol on Staten Island. I believe I told Chief Scott that I thought the helicopter had FDNY markings.

Our friends at the New York Times wrote of Kelly’s preliminary report (9/30/92) on the police riot at City Hall. The report was thick with language critical of unruly behavior but apparently thin on charges against the individual rioters. They called it a whitewash since IAD identified only 87 of the 10,000 cops at City Hall, and only 42 cops faced disciplinary charges.

I remember going to IAD headquarters on Poplar Street in Brooklyn, with cops from the 47th Precinct. They were identified by their “Parlato’s Commandos” tee shirts. Why would Bronx “late tour” cops want to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge? Al Parlato, a dear friend and co-delegate (48 Pct), was the late tour commander. Al was Bronx LBA director when he retired in December 1999. Once a union guy, always a union guy!

Kelly was named Police Commissioner on October 16, 1992. Guess he got an A-plus on his preliminary report! A Manhattan jury cleared O’Keefe in the Garcia shooting, and his last known assignment was as a Precinct Detective in Brooklyn. Dinkins lost to Giuliani, and Kelly was replaced by a Boston cop.