After yet another tourist successfully climbed the Brooklyn Bridge and put a wrinkle in the NYPD's security theater, Deputy Commissioner for Counterterrorism and Intelligence John Miller assured New Yorkers that this was no biggie. But they don't pound See Something? Say Something into our brains for nothing: what if this kid was a Lone Wolf? How could the police be so blind! "It is what it is," a testy Miller told reporters earlier today. "He got a selfie. And if one of our scooters or walking officers had gone by, he also would have gotten a collar."
Miller often talks to reporters about "threat streams" and the state of non-stop, jaw-clenching, hypervigilance the department's Counterterrorism and Intelligence bureaus operate under, and he had just finished talking about protecting the public from "the unknown threat" with "assets on the air, in the sea, on the land," when a reporter asked him about the tourist.
"I think that this is a game we play, and I don't mean to be harsh about this," Miller said. "But there is a want, a desire, to spin each one of these things up into a threat."
Miller distinguished the tourist from the "unknown threat[s], the lone wolves...ISIS, Al Qaeda, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula" that he had just spent several minutes discussing.
This guy's a knucklehead, who wanted to take a selfie, that was self-aggrandizing...He walked across a very safe crossover that has railings, and he got there and he looked up and he saw there was a fence, we have enhanced, working with the Department of Transportation so that it is now very difficult to climb around it, in case you want to changes the flags or something on top, and he looked at that and he said, 'Damn. I'm not getting around that. So I'll take my selfie stick and take this stupid picture and I'll put it on my website, but that's as far as he got. And if he'd stayed there probably a couple of more minutes than it took to get that shot, the roving patrols on the bridge, which are there all the time, would have arrested him or summonses him as they have had others, who have done the same stupid thing.
Miller concluded that the reporter's idea was to "take a story that is no story, and to build it up intro something more than it is."
The assembled NYPD brass then spent several minutes stressing the dangers of fireworks.