Boston Police Officer John T. Moynihan is this nation’s latest casualty in a domestic war playing itself out on the streets of America’s cities. The Police in every major urban area in the nation are under assault by the so-called “gangsta culture”. Rooted in some of the most depressed areas of our cities, and embracing attitudes as fatalistic and violent as the most hardened terrorist, this culture has imposed a reign of terror in the communities where it thrives. Its adherents, through expression and action, seek to replace the rule of law with the rule of the gun. They cannot be allowed to succeed.
African American adherents of this lifestyle have aggressively attempted to exploit race as a cover for their activities, portraying every armed confrontation with the police as evidence of white racist repression. The well financed and organized anarchist movement, a neo communist element, that seeks to tear down American society, has thrown in with them. The Police have always been in their cross hairs.
The Boston Police, however, through the sacrifice made by Officer Moynihan have won a decisive battle in this war. Professional conduct, years of community outreach and a long term commitment to community policing, have effectively insulated them from the smears of these radicals. The courage of African American civic and religious leaders, who have come forward to support the police, demonstrates that they are keenly aware of what is at stake.
The focus of public criticism and concern must broaden with regard to urban violence. Police actions in African American communities today are far different in nature than those that occurred fifty years ago. Viewing them with outdated preconceptions will obscure the truth of what is actually going on. America’s “gangsta culture” must be suppressed. This will inevitably require the application of force, and tragic outcomes may result, but the innocent must be protected and the law must be upheld. Officer Moynihan understood this when he approached Angelo West on Humboldt Avenue in Roxbury Saturday night and got shot in the face. Commissioner Evans and the men and women of his force also understand this. They have also shown us how it should be done.