Political hit job? Head of NYPD sergeant union resigns hours after FBI raids office, home in ‘a law enforcement action’

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NEW YORK CITY, NY – Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins has resigned from his position after federal agents raided the offices Tuesday of a New York City police union, the Sergeants Benevolent Association, and his Long Island home.

Mullins resigned at the request of the union’s board, according to a letter to its membership sent late Tuesday:

“The nature and scope of this criminal investigation has yet to be determined. However, it is clear that President Mullins is apparently the target of the federal investigation.

“We have no reason to believe that any other member of the SBA is involved or targeted in this matter.”

The letter went on to say that Mullins was “apparently the target of a federal investigation” and that union leaders had asked him to step down “given the severity of this matter and the uncertainty of its outcome.”

Union leaders maintained a wait-and see-attitude telling members:

“Like all of us, Ed Mullins is entitled to the presumption of innocence, and we ask you to withhold judgment until all the facts have been established.”

As scenes of FBI agents removing boxes of evidence from SBA offices in lower Manhattan, an FBI spokesman confirmed the agency was “carrying out a law enforcement action in connection with an ongoing investigation” into the SBA.

Not taking the Union’s advice, Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement that Mullins dishonored his uniform:

“Ed Mullins dishonored his uniform, his city and his union more times than I can count. It was just a matter of time before his endless hatred would catch up with him. That day has come.”

Congressman Ritchie Torres also did not hold back his disdain for the often-outspoken union boss, tweeting Tuesday night:

“A first-class raid followed by a first-class resignation. Former Sergeant Ed Mullins: Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”

Mullins has often had run-ins with city officials and filed suit in June in Manhattan federal court claiming that the Civilian Complaint Review Board and the NYPD have violated his First Amendment rights by trying to punish him for his statements on social media.

Mullins claimed in the suit that he’s been interrogated repeatedly by officials from the Internal Affairs Bureau for posting hostile comments on the union’s Twitter account

The suit claimed:

“Mullins objected to the interrogations (by internal affairs) on the grounds that his speech was protected by the First Amendment and that he was speaking in his capacity as SBA President on a union platform at the time he made his public statements.”

At the time of the filing, the New York Post reported:

“Mullins included examples of several tweets he sent that brought heat on him, including once when he called Bronx US Rep. Ritchie Torres a “first class whore,” for alleging officers slowed down on making arrests, causing an uptick in crime.

“He also referred to former city Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot as a “b—h” with “blood on her hands” after she refused to expedite delivery of masks to police officers who were working through the pandemic.”

Mullins, a police sergeant detached to full-time union work, is also in the middle of department disciplinary proceedings for tweeting NYPD paperwork last year regarding the arrest of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s daughter during protests over the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd.

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Police union leader files lawsuit against complaint review board, NYPD for infringing on free speech

June 4, 2021

 

NEW YORK, NY- It is a fairly long-standing practice that public union officials speaking in that capacity have wide latitude in statements they make publicly.

While rank-and-file union members must be careful in their statements, the same does not generally hold true for officials acting in their union capacity. Apparently, the NYPD and the city of New York don’t feel the First Amendment applies to them.

According to the New York Post, Sgt. Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeant’s Benevolent Association of the NYPD is being targeted for punishment in response to some posts he made in his union capacity on Twitter, and Mullins is fighting back.

Mullins filed a federal civil lawsuit last week in Manhattan federal court, claiming the Civilian Complaint Review Board and the NYPD are violating his Constitutional rights under the First Amendment by trying to punish him for those statements on social media.

Mullins claims that he has been targeted for harassment, being interrogated repeatedly by officials from the Internal Affairs Bureau (IAB) for his Twitter posts on the union’s account, some of which have been rather “colorful”.

“Mullins objected to the interrogations on the grounds that his speech was protected by the First Amendment and that he was speaking in his capacity as SBA President on a union platform at the time he made his public statements,” the suit says.

Mullins also claims that the NYPD subpoenaed the phone records of both Mullins, as well as his son, the suit alleges.

The New York Daily News said that in his suit, Mullins also asked the judge to prohibit both the police department and the Civilian Complaint Review Board from conducting disciplinary inquiries into him.

Mullins contends the two agencies are retaliating against him for his outspoken criticisms on social media.

The Civilian Complaint Review Board had recommended disciplinary charges be filed against Mullins after he made a number of what were referred to as “incendiary” tweets from the SBA’s account, which he also claims violates his First Amendment rights.

The tweets, included by Mullins in his suit, included one where he had referred to US Rep. Richie Torres (D-NY), who represents the Bronx, a “first class whore” for his allegations that NYPD officers were slowing down making arrests, leading to a subsequent increase in crime. That tweet was since deleted. 

Mullins had also referred to former city Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot as a “b*tch” with “blood on her hands” after she had refused to expedite the deliver of face masks to NYPD officers during the height of the pandemic.

Mullins became incensed after Barbot told then NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan, “I don’t give two rats’ asses about your cops.”  

Barbot’s callousness also set off Patrick Lynch, president of the Police Benevolent Association, who called for her firing over her “despicable and unforgivable comments.”

“Dr. Barbot should be forced to look in the eye of every police family who lost a hero to this virus. Look them in the eye and tell them they aren’t worth a rat’s ass,” Lynch said.

The third incident involved Mullins’ outing the 25-year-old daughter of Mayor Bill de Blasio, who was arrested during the Floyd protests in the city. Mullins shared an image of her arrest report, which is something called a Schedule C command discipline carrying a “penalty range of up to 20 days,” according to a disciplinary matrix.

Mullins is asking a judge to find that the actions taken by both the department and the Review Board violate his First Amendment rights which allow him to speak on matters of public concern as a union leader.

The Civilian Complaint Review Board had recommended in February that charges be filed against Mullins for the three incidents.

The Post said they reached out to the city’s Law Department for a response to the lawsuit, however they did not respond for comment.
  

 

 

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