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On telling the beating cops to beat it

4 Philly cops are fired

The Fraternal Order of Police is mad at Mayor Nutter and his police commissioner Charles Ramsey, and so are protestors linked to the Rev. Al Sharpton (although not Sharpton himself) for quickly firing four city cops shown on tape beating up three shooting suspects. That can only mean one thing.

Nutter and Ramsey must have gotten it exactly right. As Elmer Smith notes, the middle road was the only sensible course of action:

Some think anything the good guys do to the bad guys is justified. Others see police as an army of occupation in their neighborhoods. Both will now view Nutter and Ramsey as politicians who place public sentiment above justice. It will be a recurrent nightmare as the trial of the three suspects parallel the criminal investigations of the police.

If course, if the past is prologue, nothing will really happen to the four cops and they'll probably even get their jobs back. But that decision is beyond the reach of Nutter and Ramsey. What they have shown -- both with this action and with their aggressive stance on new gun laws -- is a willingness to act quickly and boldly on Philadelphia's greatest crisis. Compare that to a mayor who fiddled, or at least worked on his monster trucks, while Rome burned.