I’ve never been good at writing or analyzing fashion. I hated textiles in college and couldn’t sew for the life of me, however I can spot a flaw in clothing trends as easily as the next person and recently I’ve seen tops, crop tops and jumpers in high street stores such as Primark and Topshop popping up with the ‘NYPD’ initials written on them. I remember my first thought was confusion as I saw one in Primark near the women’s clothing that normally has pop culture references on. I was scanning the tops with Disney on, the Harry Potter tops and came across one t-shirt with NYPD. I remember stalling for a bit and trying to figure out if this was a reference to a tv show or movie but all I could think of was just that it stood for New York Police Department. ‘That’ll never catch on’ I thought to myself, but I was wrong.
In my cinema job I noticed those t-shirts in different varieties picking up as a trend and even now I spotted a jumper with the initals on in Topshop, going at a hefty price of £35. Now it seems the jumper is very in trend with a lot of young girls buying it, but my main worry is do they know what the name stands for? Do they know the history of the NYPD and what these t-shirts and comfy jumpers endorse?
I stand by the activist movement of #BlackLivesMatter. I realise as a white ally I can’t speak for them and can only listen, but I personally feel people should have a think about what the NYPD has history for and listen to what happens and not buy these jumpers. There’s, hopefully, no money donated to them or such when these jumpers are purchased but the normalisation of the name still stands the more and more these jumpers are bought. People might buy them with the afterthought that they’re supporting officers who protect the people but that’s far from the truth. A main story to start with is the cruel death of Eric Garner. If you were not paying attention when this happened; basically on July 17th of 2014 police officers of NYPD approached Garner accusing him of selling loose cigarettes without tax stamps. Garner pulled his arms away briefly when the officer tried to pull his wrists behind his back to which Daniel Pantaleo (the officer and murderer) took Garner to the ground by his neck and pushed his face into the ground. It was recorded and seen by witnesses that Garner cried out that he couldn’t breathe repeatedly. Eric Garner then lost consciousness and the officers turned him onto his side to ease his breathing but did not give him CPR or help. They left him there until ambulances arrived and Eric Garner was pronounced dead around one hour later. Autopsies concluded Eric Garner’s death was via a chokehold from Daniel Pantaleo and was ruled as a homicide. The NYPC policy prohibits the use of chokeholds. In December 2014 it was decided by Richmond County grand jury that scumbag Pantaleo would not be punished for killing Eric Garner. This stirred many rightful protests and to this day is still an important story regarding the uprise of #BlackLivesMatter activists and protests.
This isn’t and won’t be the only innocent black man, woman, youth or child killed by NYPD or police officers. I probably couldn’t even fit every victim from 2016 on this page let alone previous years. Research Mike Brown, Research Ferguson, Research Tamir Rice, Research Sandra Bland, Research Mya Hall, Bettie Jones, Philando Castile. In 2015 black young men were 9 times more likely to be killed by police officers than any other American. So here we are, at my main point – do you want to spend £35 on a jumper endorsing and putting the name of one of the many racist police departments in America?
NYPD also has a vast Wikipedia database of their previous misconducts including officers raping women when responding to 9/11 calls, drunk driving and hitting a pregnant woman and not helping, punishing someone for speaking their own language on the job.
They do not deserve to have their names out there on trend. This is an exploitation of young girls to use them unknowingly as an endorsement and should be treated as such. It extremely upsets me that I’m only seeing these jumpers on young girls too. We need to talk about the problem of the gross misconduct, murder and oppression police officers in America are committing. Plus I would judge if my daughter or friend spent a whole £35 on a jumper endorsing such a thing. There is better independent fashion creators and clothing you could put your money too and endorse.
Or even better, save some cash and purchase a pin or patch to help raise awareness. This is the kind of thing that needs to be promoted on clothing. Not the initials of a police department.
Thanks for reading guys, please spread this message about if you know anybody who loves shopping in high streets or the latest trend.