When we lose someone, there are not many things we can really do to honor their memory in the streets. One of the things you’ll notice is that people put up murals and sometimes light candles out there for their loved ones. Junior, the young man who was hacked to death on the streets is a prime example of this. The pic below is a sample of how much love he received in the Bronx.
The community was outraged at his murder, and they showed their support the only way they could in these streets, candles and murals. They also demanded swift justice, and the NYPD along with other police forces tracked down all the individuals involved. This is all the community can do, and those candles, they mean something to us.
That being said, a police officer with 28 years working in the NYPD should know damn well that destroying a makeshift memorial is extremely disrespectful to the dead being honored. His actions can carry some potentially damaging spiritual consequences, (if you believe in karma and negative vibes) as well as some real life consequences such as retaliation. Guys like him think that they are the supreme law, untouchable, until they get touched. I’m not wishing ill on him, but he’s certainly not doing himself any favors right now.
Captain Emilio Melendez was allegedly ordered by a superior officer to “clean up” that mess after the Dominican Parade this past weekend. Instead of dealing with it in a respectful fashion, he kicked over and smashed the candles while saying “You ain’t gonna make a fire in my block.” Really? Your block? A fire?
First of all, you don’t live in the fucking block, that’s not your block. By calling it your block, you are saying that since you oversee or patrol that area, you have ownership over it, and that’s not a good way to protect and serve. You don’t own our block, you work for us, you are supposed to protect us. This ain’t the way though.
Second of all, you made a even greater mess and left the area covered in broken glass that someone else has to clean up. You did this while hurling threats at the people there and clearly not making any friends of the locals. How dumb can you be? If you treat people with respect, they generally reciprocate. Anytime I was in a position of power over anyone, I kept it cool. I gave and received respect. This bullying and abuse of authority is not a good look.
Apparently, this dude is a hard ass and just got back from the military. They call him “Captain America,” but if you are on these streets, you gotta do things the right way, and disrespecting the memory of deceased loved ones is not how you do it.
How would you feel if they kicked over a memorial you have for a fellow police officer, or a fellow soldier? You’d be pissed off, wouldn’t you, Melendez? So why do it to them? You ain’t right man, you just ain’t right.
Captain Melendez, guys like you, make this an “us” against “you” type of thing. Instead of us all being in this together, keeping the community safe. When you do things like this, regardless of “who” you are doing it to, you are turning society against you and your fellow officers. Way to go at being a total jerk, Captain America.
Growing Up Bronx
Please note the date on a post as it may be an old viewpoint. I keep old posts to show my evolution. The opinions and views expressed here are solely those of the author.