I was coming home from class on the train last night and just happened to strike up a conversation with two people who were also eating dinner at 9:45 pm. If you could classify eating dinner as shoveling fistfuls of popcorn in your mouth, and chomping on overpriced eats from that great eatery called You Were Open Late.
But I digress.
It was a fabulous conversation most likely to be had in NYC: a Italian-American we'll call me; a self-proclaimed liberal Jewish woman who had true NYC grit all over her face, and an African-American man who seemed interested yet overwhelmed by these two talkative ladies.
We started chatting about where we were coming from; all of us hustling as most New Yorkers do. The conversation was bold and honest as we talked work, politics, and New York City's Failed Mayor. (Do I really need to mention his name?)
I talked about my Blog, my Show, and being a voice for the #NYPD.
I asked with curiosity: "How many active duty Members do you think are in the NYPD?"
One of them said six and the other said eight thousand.
There are currently somewhere around 35,000 active duty Members in the NYPD.
They were both surprised and perhaps shocked; it usually takes a while for people to understand the real breadth and scope of our police force, and how it truly is like no other.
What's funny is this: we had an honest discussion about police misconduct/brutality, the Black Lives Matter movement, the murders of Ramos and Liu, and the things that the Media would lead you to believe that we cannot talk about...not today...not without shouting or berating each other...and I daresay we all enjoyed our talk.
I pointed out that if there are 35,000 Members in the NYPD and you hear about...let's say 10 "bad" cops...what kind of percentage is that?
I sought after them: "Then is it okay to paint the Police with a broad brush, assuming that...all cops are a certain way?"
I hope I left them with food for thought.
I know I left them feeling good about New York, and New Yorkers in particular.
Life is tough, the country is in chaos, and I just heard about another terror attack today in London.
But there are still moments when an exchange of ideas and a friendly smile (not to mention bad late night food) might connect us all.