NYPD Warrant Squad Cops Wear Controversial "Hunting of Man" T-Shirts

Members of the NYPD's Queens Warrant Squad were spotted last week wearing T-shirts imprinted with a quote that some folks might find just a little bit offensive. A photo is at right. The quote reads, "There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter." The quote is correctly attributed to Ernest Hemingway.

Two people who saw warrant squad cops in the shirts on a couple of mornings last week outside of the Queens courthouse at 125-01 Queens Boulevard offered their critique. "I find it highly offensive for the NYPD to have an official shirt with this on the back. ... You don't hunt men, you hunt animals," said one observer.

Said another: "I don't think that human beings should be hunted down like animals, cops are here to serve and protect."

The use of the shirts was first reported yesterday on socialistworker.org.

This isn't the first time that quote has been used, badly, by NYPD personnel.

In 1996, members of the Street Crime Unit, a plainclothes task force which roamed neighborhoods looking for guns, had T-shirts made with the same quote. In 1999, members of the Street Crime Unit shot unarmed Guinean immigrant Amadou Diallo 41 times and killed him. The unit was later disbanded.

Former Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik once told his subordinates: "I am a hunter of men." Kerik went on to declare he would hunt down anyone who he thought was disloyal.

And Kerik's predecessor, Howard Safir, in 1991, used the quote to boast about his work for the U.S. Marshals Service on 60 Minutes. Safir went on the show hoping to turn his career into a book or movie deal. Didn't happen.

We're told that on the day the photo was taken, the warrants squad was processing a woman charged with a misdemeanor. She was released later in the day.

We asked the NYPD for comment, and will update this item if any is forthcoming. No one answered the phone when we called the Queens Warrant Squad.

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I recently saw this very quote in a local U.S. Marshals' Office, on a plaque commemorating an officer killed by an ambush while serving a violent fugitive warrant.  It was sobering on a couple of levels.

Jay Hurst, Attorney

Durham, NC


Ummmmmm, most retarted article ever written. You can't tell me that there isn't anything more important to write about in the entirety of the city and surrounding area. A child that did his homework on time, for example. A spouse that came home and said, "I am sorry for not paying enough attention to you." A school teacher that managed to get all of his or her students to pass a test. A person on a subway that picked up someone's purse and turned it into the lost and found or better yet tracked down the owner and returned it to them without anything missing. For Christ sake! find real news.

For the fools that cried about the shirt. You should read the shirt, then read Hemingway, and then get robbed. It may be possible that you thank these men afterwards and tell them, "Great shirt, Sir! Thank you for finding that fool that skipped bail, and stole my car."

Lee A Wells
Lee A Wells

An officer's job is to protect and serve, not to hunt. I've worked with cops my entire adult life and this is a dangerous mindset to promote, especially with young, green officers.


Yeah, there's no issues here.  And as a former NYPD, I read Hemingway.  Personally, not my favorite.  I always liked Steinbeck more.  But thanks for assuming my level of education.  

Leah Gahagan
Leah Gahagan

I'm willing to bet zero of them have actually read Hemingway.

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