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The head of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, a New York Police Department union, called Mayor Bill de Blasio “an idiot” for instructing officers to arrest people gathering in large groups.
The comments by union chief Ed Mullins came during an interview with Sara A. Carter after the mayor and NYPD officers broke up a large gathering of Jews paying their last respects to a local rabbi who died of coronavirus.
“You can’t tell law enforcement to go out and violate people’s rights,” he said, echoing a tweet from his organization’s official Twitter account, which was a response to de Blasio’s warning that people congregating in violation of his ‘stay-at-home’ order would be legally targeted or arrested.
The grand rabbi from Williamsburg passed away. The community followed all guidance & wore masks. The Shomrim was there giving out masks if they saw somebody on the street with out a mask. They did an excellent job. The only issue is your incompetent and targeted people of faith. pic.twitter.com/3tjMMcm4py
— SBA (@SBANYPD) April 29, 2020
Mullens, who served as an NYPD officer for 38 years, noted that the Jewish community often congregates in large gatherings, so “what occurred last night is not new.”
“This happens all the time. What occurred last night was different because the community was given out masks. They were trying to keep things organized,” he continued.
He then blasted de Blasio’s response as insensitive and inappropriate.
“Whatever treated him to go out and take a stance, he did it at a funeral for people of faith and I question what he’s doing by doing that,” the NYPD vet continued.
Mullins repeated what other critics of de Blasio have said, noting that it seems as though the mayor singled out Jews while issuing “no enforcement” orders for other events such as Tuesday’s flyover by the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels during a show of solidarity with ‘essential’ workers.
“So why did you target people of faith at a funeral? Ironically, there’s a video of a woman. She had her husband’s body, I believe it was, in an apartment for several days,” Mullins continued.
“So, what do you expect people to do? The city’s not responding. We have people who are sick, go to hospitals, they have no family members, they’re dying alone, some of them are doctors and nurses, and then they’re being buried with really no funerals,” he said.
“So you have a community that’s doing what they always do,” he said of the Jewish gathering. “They’re in their own community. They didn’t have a problem with it. I wasn’t at the funeral. I wasn’t infected myself with anything, but I just looked at photos and they’re wearing masks.
“So, this is what your biggest complaint is that you felt it’s necessary to get out of bed and go yell at people from a funeral? You took away Easter Sunday church from us,” Mullins told Carter. “I’m Catholic, I didn’t get to go to mass on Easter Sunday. How much more of this can you expect people to take?”
The SBA chief continued: “The truth of the matter is, the guy’s an idiot. He has no idea what he’s doing. The governor [Andrew Cuomo] is making him up and down the state of New York. And he’s embarrassed and he thinks he’s taken a hardcore approach.
“We’ve had cops killed under him, cops injured under him, cops abused under him,” Mullins said. “So don’t tell me you’re trying to keep police safe and it puts us in harm’s way.”
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