NYC police union votes ‘no confidence’ resolution against de Blasio and O’Neill, demand they be fired

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Screen capture … NYC Police Commissioner O’Neill and Mayor Bill de Blasio … Credit: NYC Mayor’s Office

In angry, unanimous, 400-vote no-confidence resolutions, New York City’s largest police union called for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to immediately fire Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner James O’Neill, or force them to resign. The NYC Police Benevolent Association (PBA) represents nearly 25,000 active NYPD members, who elect approximately 400 precinct- and command-level representative delegates.

“Today’s votes are an unequivocal indictment of our failed leaders in City Hall and 1 Police Plaza,” said PBA President Patrick J. Lynch in an Aug. 28 statement.

“For years, Mayor de Blasio has demonized police officers and undermined our efforts to protect our city. For years, Commissioner O’Neill has cravenly acquiesced to the Mayor and his anti-cop allies. The unjust termination of P.O. Daniel Pantaleo was merely the final straw: both men have displayed an appalling pattern of malfeasance and nonfeasance that disqualifies them from continuing to serve in their current offices. Neither can hope to regain the trust or confidence of New York City police officers. They must resign or be fired.”

Officer Pantaleo was fired this month, five years after his involvement in the controversial death of Eric Garner.

“The unjustified termination of Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo has not only deprived a dedicated and accomplished police officer of his livelihood, but has also dealt a staggering blow to police officers throughout the city, destroying morale and discouraging NYPD members of every rank from proactively addressing crime and disorder,” reads the PBA de Blasio resolution.

In fact, in the week following the firing of Pantaleo, the New York Post reported a dramatic drop in arrests by the NYPD, which is being labeled the “Pantaleo Effect, explaining that cops on the street are not involved in a work slowdown but that they feel the department “doesn’t have their backs,” and so they are being more careful on the street.

“Who wants to be the last cop standing?” an unnamed Manhattan officer told the Post. “If someone’s in trouble and needs help or if a cop’s in trouble, obviously, you do what you have to do as a police officer. But if it’s discretionary, why put yourself in harm’s way?’”

In an official PBA statement this month, Lynch said: “We are urging all New York City police officers to proceed with the utmost caution in this new reality, in which they may be deemed ‘reckless’ just for doing their job,” he said. “We will uphold our oath, but we cannot and will not do so by needlessly jeopardizing our careers or personal safety.”

Among the points made in the PBA’s de Blasio no-confidence resolution, they charge that he “has consistently engaged in rhetoric that demonizes law enforcement and attacks the integrity of the members of the New York City Police Department.”

In addition …

Mayor de Blasio and his administration have promulgated or supported numerous changes to law and policy that have:
1) Imposed upon members of the Association new layers of scrutiny and secondguessing, unnecessary restrictions and unsustainable administrative burdens;
2) Subjected members of the Association to enhanced legal liability and unwarranted administrative penalties for the good-faith performance of their duties;
3) Empowered and expanded the jurisdiction of the blatantly anti-police-biased Civilian Complaint Review Board, including the active solicitation of complaints against NYPD members; and
4) Hindered members of the Association in their efforts to carry out the NYPD’s core public safety mission, resulting in growing disorder and a significant deterioration of the public safety environment on our city streets.

The resolution also claims: “Mayor de Blasio unlawfully interfered in the NYPD’s disciplinary process, through public statements and private conversations intended to coerce the Police Commissioner to render predetermined findings and penalties in the administrative trial of Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who is a member of the Association.”

Freddi Goldstein, spokeswoman for the mayor said that the vote is “another attempt by the PBA to divide our city and we won’t stand for it. Under this mayor and Police Commissioner, our officers and the communities they serve are closer than ever and the city is the safest it’s ever been. That isn’t changing.”

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Victor Rantala

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