Wednesday, March 14, 2018



Officers Piagentini and Waverly are forever Honored, Remembered, and

Respected for their Service and Sacrifice


(Wednesday March 14, 2018, 32nd Precinct, 250 West 135th St.) He has an official website.  He has earned degrees, written all sorts of doggerel, and radical tripe.  He has the support of some ill-informed, arrogant Hollywood backers who have adopted his plight as their cause celebre.  He has allegedly spent the last 45 years living with an unblemished record.  On May 21, 1971 he ambushed two NYPD Officers with a bogus 911 call and murdered them in cold blood.  One of the young Officers, Waverly Jones, died immediately after being shot.  The other Officer, Joseph Piagentini the father of two young girls plead for his life.  Herman Bell tortured the mortally wounded Officer shooting him 22 times delivering the final rounds from Joseph Piagentini’s own gun.  He was an active member of the Black Liberation Army, a violent radical group birthed during the racial strife of the late 1960’s. Bell, until very recently, had never expressed any remorse for his role as an executioner.  Quite the contrary as is evidenced by some of his prison writings. And now, perhaps as early as the end of the month, Herman Bell, now 70, will walk out of the Shawangunk Correctional Facility in Wallkill a free man. To label this act a travesty of justice is a gross understatement. That the New York State Parole Board has granted this Cop killer his freedom is an insult to all who are and have ever served in the NYPD and Law Enforcement writ large.

There are many parties to this travesty, many groups and individuals who have worked over the years to recast Bell as someone he is not – a “changed man”.  He only admitted to having some small degree of remorse before his parole hearing in 2016 when he calculated that doing so might be advantageous to his cause.  The fact of the matter is that for virtually his entire prison sentence he enjoyed some notoriety in the twisted subculture among incarcerated convicts, precisely because he was a “Cop killer”.  His street reputation and Black Liberation Army (BLA) credentials afforded him a comfortable life in the various facilities where he served his time. Bell saw himself as a “political prisoner”, an activist and “a tireless soldier in the fight for justice”.  He has never disavowed his allegiance to the BLA and the Black Panthers.

Speaking earlier this morning with an old acquaintance, a retired Correction Officer who had served many years in a penitentiary where Bell was housed recalled some of his observations from over a dozen years ago.  Asking to be referred to only by his first name, Matt, he recounted that, “Bell back in those days had never lost his nigger swagger…you know that kinda hitch in the step strut that all the niggers used to have”.  Matt continued, “He (Bell) enjoyed something of a charmed life inside because of his status as an “OG” -an Original Gangsta, because he was “Old School”, and most definitely because he was a Cop killer.  The younger convicts treated him like royalty and Bell always had a smirk on his face when I interacted with him or any CO spoke with him.  It was a condescending smirk if that can be said know what I mean.  It is a sad day for so many knowing this fuck who participated in the murder of 3 Police Officers will soon be out”.

The world has moved on, times have changed since the “War Years” in large cities across the country infected by virulent racial strife, open warfare against Law Enforcement Officers, and the cultural and societal upheaval that it may be difficult for younger people to understand.  But, we remember; we, of a certain age, remember all too vividly those days.  We remember at odd times and when we each make a private pilgrimage to the NYPD Memorial Wall in Battery Park.  We, NYPD has a historic memory and an institutional memory.  There is an unbroken cord that runs all the way back to 1900, to 3100 Spring Street, that binds all the men and women who have ever served and serve to this day. We are bound in duty and honor; bound by the sacrifices of service, the fact that we are indeed all Brothers and Sisters serving for a greater good but also giving our utmost for those we work with.  Our loyalty is neither blind nor blinding. 

When we stand in front of that marble wall and trace our fingers over the engraved names we are most familiar with and those whose stories have been passed down by our seniors when we were just out of the Academy and beyond, we feel the connection and know full well the meaning of “But for the Grace of God there go I”.  Ours can be a brutal business; ours is often a risky endeavor.  But it is what each of us has chosen and with our choice comes the obligations, powerful obligations to the NYPD as a whole and those we serve with and those we seek to protect.

Yes, Herman Bell will walk out of prison a free man, allegedly a “changed” man deemed so by the NY State Parole Board to be “no longer a threat to society”.  How does the Parole Board make such a determination, how can they act with any degree of certainty?  How does a panel composed of politically appointed flackies and hacks make this kind of decision?  Are they clairvoyant, do they possess the uncanny ability to see inside a murders mind and soul?  No, it’s all a crap shoot, and they hope for the best.

Bell’s family, for what it is 40 years hence can celebrate his homecoming.  He can return to his peers as a hero having survived incarceration. Members of the Waverly Family may have forgiven Bell; for the record, none of the Piagentini Family has done so.  To them and all of NYPD this decision stands as an insult.  Those of us remaining who remember those dark days and the atrocities committed by Herman Bell can only hope he suffers a long, protracted painful fatal disease. Divine retribution, Celestial justice is our only desire.

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Copyright The Brooding Cynyx 2018 © All Rights Reserved
Copyright Brooding Cynyc 2018 © All Rights Reserved

Monday, January 8, 2018









(Monday January 8, 2018 1PP) Yesterday the New York Times ran an article titled, “The U.S. Has Fewer Crimes. Does That Mean It Needs Fewer Police”?  It seems that there are those in various levels of governance, political commentators, prognosticators, academics, and pundits particularly on the “Left” all too ready and eager to declare resounding victory in our efforts to fight crime, decrease the size of Police Forces, and shunt funding away from Policing to various social pursuits that include greater spending for mental health care, alcohol and drug addiction, and other no doubt well intended approaches and projects to improve the lives of the “victims” of all of society’s ills.  The hard-fought struggles that have resulted in lower crime rates in New York City and other locales across the country need to be sustained rather than curtailed.


The much celebrated “Fall of the Iron Curtain” in 1989 was touted as proof of the United States victory over the USSR that would usher in an era of “turning swords to plowshares”, the inevitable shift away from the staggering Cold War military budgets into more domestic prosperity.  Indeed, the Soviet Union collapsed and with their dissolution untold billions of dollars in the federal coffers could be redirected. Yes, what was dubbed our “Peace Dividend” was seen as a potential source for Democrats to go on a spending bonanza. The sudden absence of the USSR left the USA as the lone remaining “Super Power” without any political or military rivals.  Then the multi-headed serpent of radical Islamic terrorism began crawling out of the deserts and caves of Afghanistan. Many of the former Soviet States devolved into age old animosities; religious and ethnic strife infected many of these countries and new enemies came into view.

In 2003 then President George W. Bush declared “Mission Accomplished” from the flight deck of the carrier USS Abraham Lincoln asserting that our military forces had been victorious in his war of choice in Iraq.  As we all know now the real battle for Iraq would be the longest, bloodiest, most costly (in lives and treasure), ill-advised and poorly planned war in our history.  The danger of declaring victory, a victory of any kind but particularly against an ill-defined enemy, is fraught with hazards.  Miscalculations and tired old military thinking were no match for a guerilla insurgency in battle spaces where the “enemy’ was as difficult to identify as it was tenacious in their resistance.  It took the better part of the next 12 years to bring some semblance of “order” to Iraq.


There is a multitude of academic studies, theories, conjecture and pseudo-science employed to measure crime rates.  Statistics in this realm range from partially inaccurate, incomplete and inconclusive, to using suspect methodology and drawing skewed “facts” from highly suspect numerical inputs. The FBI collects nationwide data and presents for public consumption the “official crime rate” in an annual report while the tallying of the raw numbers can vary wildly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.  There is an abundance of stats from which to draw to support whatever one’s theory or opinion is.  Criminologists and sociologists conjecture and theorize utilizing clean cut “data” safely ensconced in rarified air far removed from the streets.  What all their metrics and measurements cannot account for is the hard and fast reality of what Police Officers do routinely on a daily basis. 

Before jumping into this confusing morass, a disclaimer is in order.  We can only speak to the reality of our hometown and the Police Department to which we have been not only loyal to but a staunch defender of through thick and thin for our entire lives.

The NYPD has, at the Patrol level, operated under the broad auspices of our own homegrown program known as CompStat.  Since the first term of Rudy Giuliani’s as Mayor commencing in 1993 the NYPD has utilized a metrics and numbers driven approach based not solely on the social/analytical methodology of Comp-Stat, but also the locational prevalence of 911 and 311 calls with an additional emphasis on “quality of life” issues. Along with the notion of unprecedented accountability. Laud it or condemn it, there can be no denying its effectiveness.  CompStat introduced a level of accountability at from the Command level down to the rank and file street Cops that had been absence prior to its implementation.  The NYPD set the “gold standard” in this brand of community Policing that has been emulated, with varying degrees of success, by Law Enforcement Agencies across the country.

Despite the multitude of naysayers and critics, the most vocal of whom have vilified the utilization of “Stop, Question and Frisk”, (derisively shortened to Stop and Frisk by the detractors), the rates of crime in all categories across the board have continued to plummet.  New York City today is unquestionably the safest big city in the US; has a homicide rate comparable to that of 1960 with a current population upwards of 8.5 million residents. If anything, the people of New York City will be well served by the NYPD to keep their feet on the gas pedal; there will never be a point in time that the NYPD can or will declare “Mission Accomplished”.


Twenty-one months into the new century radical Islamic terrorism delivered itself onto the City of New York on September 11, 2001. That lethal strike has set the pace for a host of Policing challenges in the United States and in its most cosmopolitan, international City.  NYC will always be seen by terrorist of all stripes as a “target rich environment”.  Beside the visible landmarks and buildings of importance, the City has virtually thousands of “soft targets”.  Those calling for the NYPD to trim their numbers must have forgotten 9/11 and the continual threat posed to our City. 

Post 911 the NYPD was able to develop many specialty Units, expand once mordant Bureaus, and provide a multi-tiered, redundantly layered blanket of protection.  We have not seen a successful large-scale terrorist event since 9/11and have interdicted and prevented at least 13 attempted such attacks. (The actual number and specifics of such events remain classified).  This has not been a matter of luck or Divine providence.  Not by a long shot.  Efforts by the highly sophisticated Intelligence Bureau, the Counter and Anti -Terrorism Units, beefed up Emergency Services Units, and a handful of other well organized, specifically tasked Units have kept our City safe. Having been abysmally ill-served by the FBI and CIA, New York City under the guidance of former Commissioner Ray Kelly, Mayor Mike Bloomburg, and other built our own “in-house” Units so we will never again be caught so fatally off guard.  We do for ourselves what our vast federal intelligence and Law Enforcement apparatus was unable, (perhaps even unwilling) to do prior to September 11, 2001.  These efforts require sufficient manpower to be ever vigilant, perpetually prepared, as well as aggressively forward leaning to the level required to deter any potential terrorists.  Yes, the threats from “lone wolves”, individual non-state sponsored actors, as well as any other terrorist sympathizer, will always be the unknown and unknowable variables in the anti-terrorism matrix.  Still, the NYPD ability to deploy “Show of Force” Units including the much-vaunted Atlas, Hercules, and Viper capabilities.


What makes New York City the most high-profile City with global significance on the planet with the requisite need of fielding the premier municipal Police Department in the world are a variety of very unique missions and tasks that exist in no other city.  New York City is the home of the United Nations and as such is also the home of every nation/state member’s embassy, consulate, and mission.  On any given day there may be events of international consequence playing out in NYC that require a level of security that only NYPD can provide. As we are host to all those embassies and consulates naturally, we are tasked with overseeing, protecting and policing various protests, demonstrations, acts of civil disobedience, any of which can turn violent quickly.

And, as if anyone has forgotten, the President of the United States has his primary personal residence in a glittering tower that bears his name near the virtual heart of Manhattan.  Much of the security required by a President today is provided by NYPD with little to no reimbursement from the federal government.  This reality adds a layer of challenge, complexity and threat the NYPD, as presently configured, can readily accommodate.  As one can easily see, the size of the NYPD is adequate but may even need to increase as additional challenges and new variants of criminality such as cybercrime and identity theft, on-line radicalization, recruitment and communications among various terrorist groups and others proliferate.  


Despite the record low levels of criminal activity across our Five Boroughs, a handful of Precincts remain pockets off crime; particularly violent crime.  Two in The Bronx and two others in Brooklyn still suffer from abnormally high levels of criminality.  Some of the most hazardous loci of crime in these Precincts are in various Public Housing complexes where the drug trade, gang activity, robbery, random assault, crimes against persons and property seem immune to the best efforts of the men and women who work these Commands.  While even in these neighborhoods the rates of crime are significantly reduced from what they were as recently as five years ago, they still pose challenges.  Greater cooperation from residents in these neighborhoods has gone a long way towards NYPD being able to aggressively investigate crimes, establish a more robust patrol presence, and join forces with local churches and neighborhood alliances.  Community involvement has been identified as one of the vital factors for fighting crime particularly within the confines of densely populated public housing projects. Still, there is a long way to go.


Our position is this: it is far too soon for anyone to be doing a tap dance on the graves of gone by the wayside crime rates.  To even begin to declare so much as a partial “victory” would not only be enormously foolhardy, it would be highly irresponsible.  Yes, the rates and types of crime committed in specific jurisdictions can be notoriously puzzling to fully understand and combat, the men and women of NYPD have clearly demonstrated the efficacy of the policies and procedures that have worked so well for them over the long haul of the last 25 years.  New York City today is simply a vastly City than it was 30 years ago or when coming of age in the 1970’s Bronx.  The transformations be they in Times Square, gentrified neighborhoods from Harlem to Park Slope, Prospect Avenue to Prospect Park, Chelsea to Canarsie, Woodside to the Lower East Side, and all manner of interwoven ethnic enclaves, diverse neighborhoods, and the ever-evolving dynamics of an incredibly densely packed population that may top 9 million within 10 years is nothing short of amazing. 

While can all feel good about living in such a vibrant and safe City, this is most certainly NOT the time to even contemplate making any major reforms to the NYPD nor entertain the dangerous idea that their numbers can be reduced without negative consequences. 

Copyright The Brooding Cynyx 2018 © All Rights Reserved
Copyright Brooding Cynyc 2018 © All Rights Reserved