New York's Finest Deserve Fairness, Not Fiction

Once again, a police officer barely escapes with his life -- and people are ready to hang the cop.

The story out of New York City about the police shooting the guy at his bachelor party the night before his wedding has all the human drama one would expect.

The headlines don't pull any punches: "NYPD Officers Unload More Than 50 Rounds Into a Vehicle With Three Unarmed Men."

Sounds terrible, no? Like some kind of Lifetime TV Movie about a band of rogue cops, the media imply that a group of cops just came upon a car with three men in it -- black men -- and began shooting dozens of bullets into the innocent victims for the fun of it.

Well, this isn't Lifetime and these likely aren't rogue cops. They are police officers who work for the finest police department in the world, the New York City Police Department.

Certainly there's a possibility that these undercover officers, investigating the seedy after-hours club where the bachelor party was taking place for underage prostitution and drug offenses, did something wrong.

In fact, when all the details are confirmed, it could be that these officers made some terrible mistakes. We weren't there. In fact, it's been reported that there are very few eyewitness accounts.

But here's what we do know: At some point, the officers were engaged in a verbal confrontation with the men in the car.

Reports suggest that one of the officers, badge displayed, was on the hood of the car yelling, "Stop. Police. Put your hands where we can see them."

It's been reported that the driver of the car, the bridegroom-to-be, did not stop. He did not show his hands or acknowledge the now-identified police officer's demands.

He gunned the car and attempted to run the officer over, severely cutting his leg. Then, according to news reports, the driver backed up and began to gun it once again, aiming for the undercover police.

So when we see the headline, "Cops Shoot Unarmed Men," it is a gross mischaracterization.

Many police officers have lost their lives in the line of duty by being run over by a criminal behind the wheel of a car. A car is most definitely a weapon.

Mike Gallagher is a national syndicated talk radio host and a contributing editor for His Web site is

But that hasn't stopped the Rev. Al Sharpton from racing to the family's side, denouncing the cops, and demanding their heads on a platter.

With Al Sharpton, it's shoot first -- his bullets are verbal ones -- and ask questions later.

Just ask the police officer that Tawana Brawley ruined with her false allegations of rape, a lie that drew Sharpton to her side like a moth to a flame.

I wonder if Sharpton has ever finished paying that defamed police officer the money he was owed?

You see, I have this irritating habit when it comes to police officers. I believe they're the good guys. I always tend to give them the benefit of the doubt. They're the men and women we turn to when we need help.

They strap on a gun and a badge, and hope this isn't the day that some nut tries to run them over with a car or take a shot at them.

So please forgive me if I fail to jump on the Rev. Al Sharpton bandwagon. If these police officers are wrong, they'll be punished. But if they were right to defend themselves, it won't matter to a race-baiter like Sharpton.

I wish more citizens would take a moment and realize what a dangerous, thankless job the police have. They are constantly scrutinized, always second-guessed.

There are now cameras on patrol car dashboards and citizens with camcorders and cell phones, ready to record an arrest in a split second.

There is grotesque helicopter coverage of police chases. The men and women in blue have a job that is almost always under a microscope, with activists and citizens with chips on their shoulders always ready to condemn their every move.

Me, I prefer to support and respect the police. And while I'm obviously sorry that the New York City bridegroom lost his life, I'm relieved and thankful that we're not hearing about a funeral -- or two or three -- for some of New York's finest.

Mike Gallagher is a national syndicated talk radio host and a contributing editor for His Web site is