An officer in the Bronx, New York City, has been caught on video without action as a fellow officer was beaten by two thugs in a subway. Officer Manuel Morales, who is a veteran in the NYPD with nearly 20 years of experience, was seen “holding a subway door and watching from the platform as Lt. Gypsy Pichardo was beaten,” according to the New York Post. The incident occurred on Nov. 11 at the 238th Street No. 1 train station.
The two assailants, Marquise Webb and Brian Innocent, both 24, were already caught and charged for the alleged attack. They were arraigned with charges like “assaulting a police officer, criminal possession of a weapon, resisting arrest, obstruction of governmental administration, criminal trespassing and disorderly conduct,” per the Post.
In response to the officer’s lack of action, the NYPD took swift action and removed Officer Morales’ gun and placed him on desk duty until they can investigate the incident. This wasn’t met without backlash from other officers too. A veteran police officer who viewed the footage said, “That’s an act of cowardice. He shouldn’t be on the job if he’s not going to help other officers.” This sentiment was echoed by another senior officer who said that with criminals knowing they won’t get in much trouble for assaulting cops, we see it “more and more.”
The real issue is, what is Officer Morales getting paid for? His salary was a said $144,986 a year according to the Report – why would he even think to protect the citizens when he won’t even risk an injury to protect his own colleague? Where have the true heroes gone?
These questions were further backed up by Lou Turco, President of the Lieutenants Benevolent Association. He said, “We’ve been witnessing officers being assaulted and we see it more and more. I’m shocked by the video but I’m not surprised.”
It’s not a far stretch to say that Lt. Gypsy Pichardo’s life was in danger, as he needed eight stiches to the face after being cut with a box cutter. The bigger equation here is this – has there been more accounts of officers standing by as their colleagues are beaten? Are cowardly cops really the problem here?
Speaking on the cowardice of Officer Morales, a veteran NYPD officer said, “He [Morales] oughta retire now. Apparently, he didn’t even call for help. He claims he did but there were no radio transmissions. He didn’t have his body camera on.”
This incident proves itself to be a huge dent in having trust in authority figures. Not only can lives be put in danger, but people’s faith in the notion of heroes and those who are meant to protect us can be broken by a single example of cowardice from an officer.
It’s questions like these that are worth asking in order to seek real solutions on how to protect citizens and their faith in those who protect them. Is it enough to just hold a few accountable? How can people have peace of mind when using public transportation, like the subway? It’s not something people should have to worry about but politicians are defiantly making things harder with lax policies.