There is little love lost between the City Council and police unions.
Both the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association and the Sergeants Benevolent Association blasted a City Council proposal that would place Civilian Complaint Review Board posts in Council district offices and request that the NYPD inspector general investigate how the police tracks cases of alleged police brutality.
“Frankly, I am disgusted with the double talk coming out of this City Council. They praise police with words and then take actions that clearly demonstrate their true lack of support for the very people who protect them and make their communities safe,” said Patrick Lynch, the PBA president, in a statement today.
Mr. Lynch said civilian complaints “are not worth the paper they are written on” because civilians can file them without fear of penalty if their complaint is proven false. “If this Council is interested in really improving police community relations, let them introduce a bill requiring the complaints to be sworn under penalty of perjury that will help to separate real complaints from flat our harassment of arresting officers,” he said.
Edward Mullins, the president of the SBA, agreed.
“I actually think the City Council is really losing their minds. There are so many major issues facing the City of New York and all they seem to be focusing on is anything that is anti-police,” Mr. Mullins told the Observer. “Their purpose is to play to a voting base to which the believe is going to keep them in office. What changes by creating a City Council CCRB office?”
“How about the City Council sitting back and breaking down each of their offices to focus on the quality of education, raising test scores and helping to promote a better-educated district so each of their children could have a better quality of life,” Mr. Mullins continued. “They will also learn about the laws of this nation and the dealings of this police and create an amtopshere where people will want to work with police.”
Mr. Mullins, a registered Republican, and Mr. Lynch have long been at odds with the left-leaning City Council. Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announced the proposal this morning a week after a Staten Island grand jury failed to indict a white police officer in the death of Eric Garner, a black Staten Islander. Ms. Mark-Viverito blasted the grand jury’s decision and her Council has marched multiple times in protest against alleged police brutality. Both police unions supported the grand jury’s determination.
The unions have also been highly critical of Mayor Bill de Blasio, a liberal Democrat often allied with the Council. Both unions are negotiating new contracts with City Hall, and each rejected an offer accepted by other law enforcement unions last night.