Lesly Lafontant, 53, a 21-year veteran NYPD officer, was attempting to handcuff a panhandler who was urinating on the floor of a Bronx nail salon. He was simply doing his job last Friday night when Kwesi Ashun allegedly attacked him from behind with a metal chair and severely beat him multiple times. Astoundingly, despite suffering broken orbital bones, a broken cheekbone, and an eye injury, which eventually forced doctors to place him in a medically induced coma, Lafontant managed to unholster his gun and kill Ashun.
In a sane city, it would be unambiguous as to who is the hero and who is the villain, yet to some city Democrats, the roles are reversed. This is the outlook on criminal justice from so many politicians these days – viewing criminals as victims and cops as villains.
The injuries were so bad that last week it wasn’t clear that Lafontant would survive. Yet on Tuesday, his condition improved and he was released from the hospital in an emotional gathering of his fellow cops cheering him on as he was being wheeled out.
One would expect that 100 percent of the media coverage and statements of local politicians would be directed at investigating the growing attacks on NYPD in the line of duty. Instead, there are endless insinuations about too many police shootings and people, including a local politician, implying that Ashun is the real victim here.
The New York Times used innuendo to lament how this incident was “the 11th deadly shooting by a New York officer so far this year,” as if this was somehow a questionable shooting that could have been avoided. The Gray Lady proceeded to interview residents of the neighborhood who “expressed skepticism about the police’s version of what led to the fatal encounter.” Local Assemblywoman Latrice Walker said, “We have a lot of questions.” The paper quoted random local radicals who believe it’s the cop’s fault he was attacked. “It happens a lot,” Mr. Scott, 58, said. “I’m tired of it. A lot of people [are] tired of it.” Of the police he added, “They preach peace but they don’t give it.”
Assemblywoman Walker claims to have talked with Ashun, who was selling T-shirts on the street right before he was killed: “Never in a million years did I think that the man who was shot was the young man I was just talking to,” she said. “He didn’t have anything to do with why the police were there in the first place.”
Well, he had a lot to do with it when he came in and beat the cop with a metal chair. The officer’s partner even tried unsuccessfully to first taser him rather than going for the gun.