Ismaaiyl Brinsley was by all accounts a loose cannon, armed not to preserve justice but to hurt the most opportune targets. However, that will not be his legacy. The consequence of his actions that day may have been brutal and terrible, but they have brought with them an opportunity. The killings ignited the political battle previously bubbling beneath the surface. It now appears that City Hall and the Police Department are fixed to eat each other in an ultimately meaningless battle. Police sit in fear of another Brinsley, of another ungovernable and unpredictable act of violence. They are angry and they are scared. We must treat this as a time to expose this system of criminalization for what it is, an extortion racket for the NYPD and Bill De Blasio.
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