Friday, September 11, 2015

Frascatore-Time & Petra Laszlo Gets Her Kicks

NYPD officer James Frascatore
Remember back in 1997 during the fallout from the heinous toilet plunger assault on Abner Louima when the term "Giuliani Time" was being widely used to describe former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani's approach to policing and the toxic relationship between the NYPD and communities of color?

Well now apparently it's "Frascatore Time".

Earlier today I was thinking that it may have been a bit premature of me to have awarded this week's George Lincoln Rockwell Award to disgraced NYPD officer James Frascatore (pictured left), the cop who assaulted and falsely arrested retired tennis star James Blake two days ago.

But after hearing today's news that a 2014 investigation conducted by WNYC revealed that the 38-year old Frascatore had been the subject of five separate civilian complaints during a seven-month period in 2013 and was also named in two different federal civil rights lawsuits filed by individuals who claim he pepper-sprayed, beat and then falsely arrested them, I'm sticking with my choice.

According to various reports, Frascatore has changed his phone number and has been placed on what the NYPD is calling "modified duty" after detectives who saw the video footage of his attack on Blake seized his badge and gun.

Meaning he's still earning a paycheck and benefits on the taxpayer's dime while the NYPD brass figure out whether they're going to serve him up to make an example to other NYPD officer's who are just a little too quick to resort to physical violence at the sight of dark skin.

Far right journalist Petra Laszlo
But in my book the Hungarian journalist Petra Laszlo (pictured left) certainly qualifies as a close runner-up for this week's Rockwell Award after video footage of her kicking an adult Syrian refugee and trying to trip his child went viral this week.

I suppose one might say it's now "Laszlo Time" in  Hungary given the country's opposition to the sugggested quotas proposed by EU officials for the numbers of Syrian refugees each European nation should accept to alleviate the humanitarian crisis. 

Laszlo was one of a swarm of journalists who were in an open field near the Serbian border in the village of Roszke trying to capture footage of a large group of Syrian refugees who were desperately trying to evade capture by a group of uniformed police in blue uniforms.

The absurd cold-hearted inhumanity of the moment is certainly one of the reasons the video clip has been seen millions of times around the world, but there's also something compelling about viewing a natural reaction like that.

Petra Laszlo's Hungarian welcome
If you've seen the video clip, Laszlo intentionally sticks out her right leg and kicks the leg of a male refugee running from the police, she then attempts to trip a child next to him whose hand he's holding.

Her choice suggests one of two possibilities.

Either she was trying to purposefully cause a terrified adult and his child fleeing a war-torn country to trip and fall so the cops chasing them could capture them so she could then record the confrontation on video.

Or, her personal feelings of contempt, anger or resentment towards the refugees simply bubbled up to the surface and trying to trip them was all she could manage to do at the spur of the moment with so many others running around.

Maybe it's a combination of both.

After all, as The New York Times reported earlier this week, N1TV, the Internet television channel she worked for, is associated with the right-wing Jobbik party - she could have been trying to intentionally stage the photo to appease N1TV member audiences; who like Fox News watchers have nothing but contempt for refugees.

Regardless, she's been fired and I can only assume is now looking for work; I can't help but wonder how Laszlo will sit across from someone in HR in a job interview and explain why she left her previous job; Fox News would probably hire her in a snap.

She has since publicly apologized for getting her kicks on innocent refugees, but only after her name achieved astronomically high rankings as a Google search term and images of her physically abusing people fleeing the ravages of war and ISIS have been seen by millions around the globe.

Just like NYPD officials revoking James Frascatore's badge and gun, Laszlo's apology comes just a little too late.

I mean come on, trying to trip a little refugee girl? Low rent.

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