After New York slayings, are Philly cops at risk?

After New York slayings, are Philly cops at risk?
Charles Mostoller

Days after two police officers were shot dead in Brooklyn, Philadelphia has seen no significant new threats of violence made against police, said a department spokesman, Lt. John Stanford.

“We haven’t had anything major in terms of negativity,” said Stanford. “It seems like we’ve had more responses from people saying, ‘I support you guys.'”

On Friday night, before the New York shootings, carried out by an apparently deranged man who shot his ex-girlfriend earlier that day, several hundred people rallied in support of Philadelphia cops in Northeast Philly’s Mayfair neighborhood.

Stanford said the PPD isn’t more worried about danger now than at any usual time.

“This job is crazy every day,” he said. “You have to worry about officer safety every day.”

Local anti-racism activist Daryle Lamont Jenkins, of, said protests across the U.S. calling for justice for unarmed black men killed by police, have contributed to an anti-cop climate in Philadelphia.

“We’ve been lucky in Philly because we haven’t had anybody get killed. That hasn’t gone unnoticed,” Jenkins said, referring specifically to the deaths of unarmed suspects.

“But what happens when it does go down? Notice that I say ‘when.’”

Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #5 did not respond to requests for comment on whether Philly officers have encountered more threats recently.

Some locals think no such violence will come to Philly.

“Not in Philadelphia. I don’t feel that feeling in the air,” said Pierre Gaston, 33, of Olney. “But cops should be aware, even though it hasn’t happened in Philly.”

But others say they feel some anti-cop sentiment in Philly.

“People think that cops use their badges for their own advantage, and they might start a riot or end up killing officers,” said Zakiya Shepherd, 15, from North Philly.

Gary Dillard, 58, said he believes tension from the Eric Garner and Michael Brown non-indictments led to the murders in Brooklyn.

“It’s not right, but when you start something — and then are letting them people off — there’s a justification,” he said. “It’s gonna continue until they do something.”

NYPD officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were shot dead as they sat inside their car in Brooklyn by Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, of Baltimore, who had shot his girlfriend just hours before heading to New York.

They were the first two NYPD officers killed in the line of duty since 2011.

“I’m putting wings on pigs today. They take 1 of ours….. Let’s take 2 of theirs #shootthepolice #RIPEricGarner #RipMikeBrown,” Brinsley posted on his Instagram before the shooting.

He killed himself after shooting the officers.

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