In Manhattan's Union Square last week, a protester wielded a menacing sign. It didn't make the front page of any newspaper. You didn't see it on cable news. An appalled bystander sent me a photo of the marcher and his inciteful placard, but didn't want to be identified in any way.
You'll know why in a moment.
"Justice Please," the top line of the poster read. "Before we see a lot of new Larry Davis[es]," the message threatened. "1986 6 cops killed," the banner ended ominously. It was underlined in red marker for bloody emphasis.
"Larry Davis" is quite the faddish battle cry among young minority agitators these days. Enraged tweets about the Ferguson and Eric Garner cases over the past several weeks have heralded Davis as a "street legend" and "hero." Chicago-based actor Demarco Monroe vowed on Twitter that if police "[c]ome at me on that gun pointing s—t, please believe the LARRY DAVIS gon (sic) come outta me."
Nova Sankofa, a Philadelphia-area "social activist" and "active philanthropist" advised his followers and fellow grievance-mongers: "You've got to be able to ride on the cops like Larry Davis."
For those outside of New York City who are not steeped in the social justice movement's racially charged vigilantism against the police, and for those who may have forgotten, let me tell you about this homicidal "hero."
Larry Davis, known as "Loco Larry" on the streets of the Bronx, had racked up a mile-long rap sheet by age 20. The black rapper-turned-drug dealer boasted arrests or convictions for petty larceny, resisting arrest, violating probation, possession of stolen property and burglary. He led violent turf wars against other crack kingpins. In the fall of 1986, police suspected him in the execution of four rivals.
When an NYPD unit descended on Davis's flat for questioning, the hoodlum came out with guns blazing. "I'll shoot them first. I want to die," he reportedly bragged to family members.
Davis shot six officers; two sustained grave injuries. Contrary to popular legend (echoed by the Union Square sign displayed last week), the officers all survived. Officer John O'Hara lost an eye. Emergency Service Unit cop Mary Buckley, 40, took shotgun blasts to the face. "Mary was a mess," her doctor recounted at the time. "Her face was mutilated. The pellets had knocked out her front teeth; her upper jaw was shot away. Your heart went out to her." After reconstructive surgery, she returned to duty as a police sniper.
Davis escaped out an unguarded window. He led police on a 17-day, five-city manhunt. Desperate, he sought refuge in a Bronx housing project, where he took a mother and her two young children hostage as he conducted marathon negotiations with law enforcement. When he finally surrendered, many residents cheered him as the ultimate "symbol of resistance." His radical left-wing lawyers William Kunstler and convicted terror helper Lynne Stewart played a minority-dominated jury like a fiddle - stoking racial resentment and asserting police corruption without evidence.
The panel acquitted Davis on attempted murder of the officers, but he was convicted on weapons charges. He was ultimately imprisoned on separate murder charges involving another drug crime. In 2008, after reinventing himself as "Adam Abdul Hakeem," he was stabbed to death by another inmate at Shawangunk Correctional Facility in upstate New York.
Larry Davis used children as human shields. He talked a big game about martyring himself for The Cause, but turned yellow when push came to shove. Revered by the post-Ferguson generation's wanna-be revolutionary hipsters, this gutless wonder shot a female officer in the face.
Former Democratic New York City Mayor Ed Koch minced no words: "Those people are fools and they are giving heroic status to a criminal." This was no righteous crusader. "He was a killer, and he shot six cops," Koch said after Davis's death. "You shouldn't take pride in the execution of anybody illegally, but I believe that there is a special oil pot in hell for him."
Today, fear and political correctness reign on the streets. Few truth-tellers in public office will call out the cop-hating cultists seeking racially driven retribution. Social justice mobsters sucker punch cops in New York while "peaceniks" cheer. Police officers have been attacked with hatchets, knives, and bottles from the Big Apple to Canon City, Colorado. In Oakland, "F—k the pigs" has been a constant refrain. In St. Louis County: "Pigs in a blanket, fry 'em like bacon." And in Denver, dedicated police officer John Adsit remains in critical condition after being mowed down by a vehicle while escorting Ferguson protesters last week. Witnesses reportedly applauded and the ongoing investigation of the driver has been characterized as "complex."
President Obama this week condemned the "deeply rooted" racism of police officers. But what of the deeply rooted racism and violent hatred of those who glorify America's Mumia Abu Jamals, Christopher Dorners and Larry Davises?
Silence is complicity.