The police are “just a different kind of unsafe” than violent patients according to “New Amsterdam.” Although that anti-cop line came from nurse Casey Acosta, he was not the only nurse at New Amsterdam disturbed by the idea of police guarding their ER.
After a patient’s violent assault on at least three emergency department staff, Dr. Lauren Bloom asked her staff how many of them feel “unsafe” working at the hospital. They all raised their hands. Determined to protect them, she hires a handful of police officers to keep them safe. But she is oblivious to the nurses’ unhappy and nervous reactions until Casey takes her aside to complain.
Bloom: What’s going on?
Casey: It’s the cops.
Bloom: But they’re here for us. To keep us safe.
Casey: You know what I see? I see the people who’ve been stopping me since I was 12 years old, making me sit on curbs and face walls. I got handcuffed coming home from work one day in my scrubs. In my scrubs!
He tells her to ask the others, Weber and Mariana, adding “We’ve all got stories.” She asks Casey what are they supposed to do about patients attacking and assaulting them (as a patient had done earlier that very day)? He didn’t offer a solution, although he took offense at her declaration that not all cops are bad cops.
Bloom: Casey, I’m not blind, okay? I know that there are bad cops.
Casey: You didn’t just try to ‘Not all cops’ me now, did you?
Bloom: But it’s not all cops. And you know that. And we need them here.
Casey: “We”? Tell me who’s “We?” Because the undocumented, they’re gonna stay away. The homeless, they’re gonna stay away, too. And what about the next patient who comes in here under the influence? You suddenly want these cops feeling compelled to make arrests because, hell, they’re already here?
Although racism was never mentioned explicitly, it was impossible to miss that Bloom is white while several nurses who felt unsafe around the cops spoke Spanish and had Hispanic names. The four officers also all appeared to be white.
Later that day, Bloom’s boss arrived to find bouncers guarding the emergency department and asked what was going on. “We defunded the police,” she snarked.