-By Warner Todd Huston
Albany Police Chief Steven Krokoff came in for heavy criticism by fans of the Occupy "movement" after he ordered the clearing of their downtown encampment pursuant to a court order. The arguments over the actions by police have raged since the December 23 conflagration with Chief Krokoff getting savaged repeatedly by the media and some city councilmen alike. But this week Krokoff confronted his critics and he wasn't gentle about it!
The big criticism arose when officers used pepper spray when the Occupiers became violent. Since then several Councilmen, such as Anton Konev, have criticized the police saying that their actions were unnecessary. Konev, for instance, has announced that he has no confidence in the Chief and is angling to have him fired. Naturally, Konev has been an open agitator for and supporter of Occupy Albany.
But on January 6, Chief Krokoff came before the city council with a strong defense of his and his officers’ actions delivering a withering blast to some of the councilmen that have come to the defense of the lawless Occupiers.
In what the Albany Times Union called a "scorching offensive" chief Krokoff scolded members of the City Council for supporting the criminal element of the Occupiers instead of supporting their own police department.
Chief Krokoff also went to the unusual extreme of slamming several of the councilmen by name for supporting the Occupy Whatevers:
"Shame on Councilman Konev and Councilman Freeman, who at every turn, seem so willing to distort the truth of any situation, no matter how tragic, and use it for their own personal gain. Shame on you both for mattering so little to yourselves and your community that you have to create hate and further half-truths just to feel some sense of relevancy. This entire city has seen the content of your character, and I pity you both."
The chief may be about to become a hero to the law and order set with this spirited defense of his actions.
Albany political blogger Rusty Weiss is one of those cheerleading for Chief Krokoff. Weiss wonders why the media are not pointing out that some of the city councilmen that have been criticizing the chief "were vociferously participating in the Occupy Albany assembly"?
Since some of the chief's critics on the council have been involved in the Occupy movement wouldn't that make their criticism heavily biased and lacking credibility?
Worse, these Occupiers are hardly innocent bystanders. After the pepper spraying incident, Occupiers began circulating posters identifying one of the policemen involved and advertising his home address where he and his family live. The officer has received numerous threats from Occupiers since.
It's no wonder that the Chief has about had enough of the harassment. After all, when we compare what happened to protesters in Albany to that of other countries, we see how silly the Occupiers look claiming that they were victims of a brutal police raid. A few spurts of pepper spray on the Occupy Albany folks don't compare favorably to the real bullets sprayed on Egyptian protesters, after all.