NYPD precinct commander leaves Bronx precinct for last time after standing up to feckless mayor

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A longtime New York Police Department commanding officer turned in his badge and left the precinct for the last time in protest.

The love and respect for Deputy Inspector Richard Brea were on full display as he was given a rousing retirement walkout outside the 46th precinct in the Bronx on Friday.

NYPD bagpipe players and an NYPD helicopter were part of the celebration of Brea who left Friday afternoon in a restored classic police car after a blistering speech slamming government leaders for turning their back on police officers.

After nearly three decades on the force, Brea turned in his resignation in protest over the lack of direction on how to handle guns and drugs in the neighborhood in the wake of the recent disbanding of the police anti-crime unit.  The move came after weeks of protests and unrest in the wake of George Floyd’s death and increased scrutiny and criticism of law enforcement.

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea had announced that the 600 members of the NYPD plainclothes anti-crime unit were to be reassigned, leaving Brea to wonder, “How am I supposed to lead?” according to Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa, the New York Post reported.

Interestingly, ABC News7 in New York reported on the 46th Precinct just over a year ago, noting that “one of the most dangerous police precincts in New York City has seen a historic drop in crime over the past two decades,” thanks to the NYPD’s “renewed focus on neighborhood policing.”

The precinct was known as “the Alamo” because of the dangerous conditions that were turned around under the police efforts. But Brea had tough words for politicians who did not respect the officers in the Bronx neighborhood station.

“Their blood is in the concrete of every street corner, but these politicians don’t want to remember that,” Brea said in remarks at the ceremony sending him off on Friday. “They want to blame and vilify everyone here. I won’t have that. No sir.”

“We have a duty and a responsibility to respect and guide other cops,” he said, adding, “My 46 family, the Alamo, I love you man.”

An Instagram post about the walkout ceremony noted that Brea was supposed to attend a community board meeting where he would allegedly “be asked to take a knee” and was also “told to apologize for police action taken during violent riots a few weeks ago in his precinct.”

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Respect! 💪 “NYPD Deputy Inspector Brea- Commanding Officer of the violent 46 pct in the Bronx. As I posted yesterday, he was to attend a Community Board meeting and in advance was told by NYPD Headquarters that he would be asked to take a knee at the meeting. He said he wouldn’t. He was basically told he would have to. He was also told to apologize for police action taken during violent riots a few weeks ago in his precinct. He said the police acted properly and we haven’t even had funerals for all of the cops killed during Covid19. He said he would not apologize. In sum and substance, he told HQ to go duck themselves and he went down to HQ and submitted his retirement papers. A man with integrity who refused to cower to political correctness.” We wish you a happy retirement. Thank you for standing up in what you believe in and not cowarding and being part of the political game. 🙏🙌 #police #NYPD #integrity #dowhatisright #nypdfinest #nypdnews

A post shared by Backing The Thin Blue Line (@backing.thethinblueline) on

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio acknowledged there is “reason for the NYPD frustration but would not admit the recent changes, with promises of more adjustments to come, had anything bearing on the situation.”

“We have a problem with the court system not working… we have the problem of the parole system and individuals coming out of state,” the Democrat said at a press briefing Friday, ahead of Brea’s walkout. “There is a legit reason for frustration on that.”

“The NYPD has a tremendous history of making adjustments,” de Blasio added. “Adjustments are being made as we speak. The choice on the anti-crime unit was the right one.”

“We’re in a moment where there are a lot of challenges,” he said.

Brea was showered with well-wishes at the ceremony on Friday as well as on Twitter.

 

 

Frieda Powers

Senior Staff Writer
[email protected]

Originally from New York, Powers graduated from New York University and eventually made her way to sunny South Florida where she has been writing for the BizPacReview team since 2015.
Frieda Powers

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