Patrick Lynch, the president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, continued to tear into elected officials Wednesday night, charging that virtually none of them are supporting police officers in the wake of a Staten Island man’s death in police custody.
Mr. Lynch, who on Tuesday blasted NYPD “haters” who he said were “race-bating” after Eric Garner, a black Staten Island man, died on July 17, hinted that at least some version of a slowdown could be coming if police did not feel the government had their backs.
“What we’re saying to the police officers is, look, the City Council is not looking out for you, there’s not a voice from City Hall looking out for you. We’re saying do your job right and professionally,” Mr. Lynch told Inside City Hall host Errol Louis.
“And the rule book, the patrol guide which is hundreds and hundreds of pages will help you, it’ll protect you, it’ll make it safe and it will help the public as well. So we’re saying if the department says these rules are important, then you follow those rules to help you do your job,” he added.
Mr. Garner, targeted for selling loose cigarettes, died after being placed in what Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton called a chokehold, a prohibited maneuver. Mr. Lynch, along with Sergeant’s Benevolent Association President Edward Mullins, have argued that Mr. Garner was not placed in a chokehold and a New York City Medical Examiner’s report that ruled Mr. Garner’s death a homicide is little more than a “political” document.
On Inside City Hall, Mr. Lynch went a step further, telling Mr. Louis that he thought the “public relations” department of the medical examiner’s office produced the report. He said that without seeing any autopsy report on Mr. Garner, he could not take the findings seriously.
“Police officers have a right to get representation, have an attorney represent them when they’re accused and how you do that is taking a full autopsy based on real findings,” Mr. Lynch said. “Not a press release that was probably done by the public relations arm of the medical examiner’s.”