When NY Cop Online Magazine
was first published, many friends questioned the purpose for such a publication. Police officers sometimes suspect the motives of anyone writing about their careers and incidents that occurred in the past. They wouldn't be good cops if they didn't have such defenses.
The goals of NY Cop Online Magazine are:
First, to educate the public about the true nature of police work in the closing days of the Twentieth Century and into the Twenty-first Century. We who have served in law enforcement during the most trying decades of the last Century must preserve in writing
those countless deeds of valor and dedicated service of the men and women of the New York City Police Department.
Second, to set the record straight about the truth and facts surrounding events that may
have been poorly covered or mistakenly distorted under the political correctness of the period. Journalists and members of media are under tremendous pressure by their publishers
and editors. They must make their deadline for the TV evening news hour. Their intentions may be good, and they may write in good faith about police incidents, but each day brings more headline producing stories.
NY Cop Online Magazine may be able to serve as a type of “institutional memory” of the NYPD. Lest we forget the sacrifices and heroism of the
men and women who served as police officers in past years.
Third, to comment on the policies and procedures of policing and to render constructive criticism of current trends in law enforcement.
Fourth, to provide a forum for police officers and concerned citizens to post their opinions on issues that may have an impact on their lives.
I confidently launched NY Cop Online Magazine
in January, 1999 with faith in the United States Constitution. On November 17, 1734, a printer and journalist named John Peter
Zenger was arrested and imprisoned on charges of seditious libel. He was the publisher of the New York Weekly Journal. He was a German immigrant who had the audacity to criticize
the Colonial Governor of New York. His subsequent acquittal by a jury of colonists is recognized as the first milestone in the history of American Freedom of the Press.
The concept of Freedom of the Press spread to all Thirteen Colonies and helped lead to the War of Independence and the birth of these United States of America. The Founding
Fathers were so concerned about the basic freedoms that they encoded them in the Bill of Rights. Freedom of the Press was held in such high esteem, that they listed it under the First
Amendment along with Freedom of Speech and Religion. The Founding Fathers knew from experience that the best defense against the arrogance of power was this basic Freedom of
the Press. Tyrants will always be envious of the other "power" that is exercised by the Fourth Estate. In our era, the nation states of this world have lost much of their power to the
growth of international corporations and religious fundamentalism. With that growth in power, the rise of new tyrants is certain. Freedom of the Press is one of the best guarantees of our future liberty.
The identity of the victims depicted in the stories that you will read on these pages and the names of witnesses to crimes recounted here in many cases will not be their real names, but
pseudonyms. The pain and suffering that these people have endured should not be added to. In the writing of these accounts, I also will have occasion to use the same device for
some members of the Police Department whose identity must be safeguarded for the safety of themselves and their families.
Many who have been arrested, convicted, and sentenced to prison terms now have access to the Internet in the correctional facilities across this Nation. Some of those inmates have
become more computer-literate than the average citizen and surf the World Wide Web on a daily basis. Those in prison are paying the price for their actions. I will also use pseudonyms
for the names of the perpetrators of the crimes. The reasons are twofold: first, publicity on the World Wide Web is truly global in scope and use of a man's name would be a further
punishment that is beyond the intention of the editor. Second, the notorious fame that would result from publishing the name of the criminal could profit that same person in future
writings and publications. The editor does not wish to add to the suffering of victims of crime by providing the means by which crime pays.
The empowerment that the Internet provides for individuals is a wonderful thing. Yet, danger lurks behind the screens of our computers. The pedophile and serial killer have the same
access to this worldwide communicative tool as the poet and philosopher. We must tread carefully in the world of cyberspace.
Edward D. Reuss
Captain, NYPD (retired)
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