On December 20, 2014, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, age 28, after deciding that he could not live anymore, tragically killed two officers and himself. The most distressing fact is that the two New York officers were shot and killed by a black man. His decisions and actions have caused an even bigger rift in New York. But let me tell you this; I have read the articles calling him a brute, a mad man, CNN even said, “We don’t yet know what polluted swamp of mental sickness led Ismaaiyl Brinsley to embark on a multistate rampage that culminated with the barbaric, execution-style killing of NYPD Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos on a New York City street.” And although this may be true, remember that it was not the most sane moment of his life. In fact, his decision to kill the police officers was an afterthought.
Ismaaiyl Brinsley, after watching his parents split up at the age of 9, being bounced from house to house, sleeping on others couches, to being sexually abused around the age of 14, to continually being let down by the people he trusted the most, snapped. At the time his world was falling apart around him, and his only true crime was being human. He had been unemployed and homeless for a while, and slowly losing faith in himself. Ismaaiyl Brinsley only sought out to kill himself that fateful day, but as a last thought, he decided to take a couple of cops down with him.
Not to justify the loss of lives at all, I think that it was awful and that his actions were wrong. But considering his state of mind, Ismaaiyl Brinsley thought this was his only choice left. The NYPD themselves are not purely innocent victims suffering from a random attack from an unprovoked madman.
For many within New York and across America, the NYPD badge doesn’t represent trust and safety – instead, it is the symbol of injustice that led to the death of Eric Garner. Beyond New York, police forces across America also carry the burden of the cases of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, who both were innocent at the time of their abrupt deaths, but were never given justice. But what a show for the two cops killed by a black man in retaliation to this. It is not right to kill for what you believe in, but it is also wrong to criticise him so severely that you forget the real purpose for why he thought he was right.
Knowing this, keep it in mind the next time you hear this story. Change your ideas that Ismaaiyl Brinsley is evil, know and tell the truths of his wrongs and the terrible wrongs done by him. It is a constant battle between the public and the police that has inevitably escalated and will continue, even to where you live, if nothing changes.